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What do Professors recommend for Full textbook study?

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1

    I guess this is a question that is directed more towards any of the Professors here at the forums, although anyone with advice is more than welcome to. I always wondered why Professors would only cover certain chapters from the textbook.

    Although I know that time is one of the limiting factors in teaching the whole book, my question specifically relates to the courses in which the Professors begin teaching from some chapters in the middle or later chapters. Such as Chapter 6+ and skip the introductory parts or the final advanced parts.

    Do Professors expect that students already know the information and so they skip through, and for more advanced topics, are these same topics covered in other courses or is it another reason? Also, would any Professors recommend that a student who might have the time, actually go through the whole book if they enjoy the course?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2008 #2
    I'm not a professor (Senior at UMBC) but here's my take on this.

    There usually too much in a textbook for an entire semester. And often times a lot of the jettisoned material is derivative, meaning if they teach you A, then they maybe expect you to understand B somewhat.

    I have taken algebra based Physics 2 for biology majors. I noticed that professor was skipping around quite a bit, throwing out sections that would pertain to only future physics students. Same thing with chemistry. When I took general chemistry 2, there section within a chapter about organic chemistry. But our professor said that although it was important, he was not going to cover it because for that there's Organic chemistry 1 & 2. In organic chemistry, none of us really understood how an NMR spectrometer worked. That was for the physicists! We faked through the physics part of it, and for the most part we stuck to the basics.

    So I don't think profs want to focus their attention on niche topics (which are important) but not of immediate importance. From personal experience I've noticed Chemistry & Physics and math professors don't skip all over the place, but biology teachers are very likely to do this.
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