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Topic: That old *New Math* again
Replies: 2   Last Post: Jan 20, 1997 12:13 PM

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Robert B. Davis

Posts: 22
Registered: 12/6/04
That old *New Math* again
Posted: Jan 19, 1997 10:23 PM
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In partial response to a recent note from Walter Felscher, which
characterized
*new math* in the words
QUOTE:
I well
remember the years between 1970 and 1974 when "NewMath" was propagated
for elementary schools, meaning the use of set-notation and the emphasis
of cardinal over ordinal aspects.
END QUOTE

There is no doubt that what Professor Felscher describes DID in fact
exist - - but it was only one version of the *new mathematics*. In fact,
it was one of the silliest, and perhaps the one LEAST related to the work of
Jean Piaget. Piaget studied carefully how children actually think about
various mathematical concepts. The *set theory* version of elementary
school math had no regard whatsoever for how children actually build their
ideas, but considered only how some logicians might reconstruct these ideas
for far more sophisticated purposes unrelated to the thinking of children.

There were many other versions of the *new math*, many of which were NOT
disasters, but yielded excellent results.

- - Bob Davis




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