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Math History and Math Pedagogy
Posted:
Jul 4, 1995 8:33 AM


Dear Colleagues,
I believe I once mentioned my membership in the international Open Study Group for the History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM), affiliated with ICME.
Anyway, I have been interested in the development of content and pedagogy through the ages. I also have looked at the evolution of content. In some cases, the evolution of content may be compared to the child's "evoluation" of thought in mathematics. Evolution is probably not the right word to use, but I think you all know at what I driving.
I find it interesting that the Ancient Egyptians, 3500 years ago, use a rather sophisticated method to work with fractions. Egyptian mathematics was practical mathematics. Our reference is the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, in the British Museum.
The Egyptians also demonstrated some sophisticated properties in measurement, a practical necessity of the times. And, according to Beatrice Lumpkin, a noted Egyptcologist, the Egyptians appeared to have the concept of zero.
Why have I bothered you all with the above information? Of course, I'm a math history nut. However, I wanted some to know that much early mathematics resulted from practical purposes. I believe this is the way children "construct" early knowledge (and probably later). 
Cheers!
Karen Dee
Math History Lives!
Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education The Langley School in Sciences and Technology 1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA 22012 USA 7033561920(w) EMail: kmichalo@pen.k12.va.us Fax: (703) 7909712 or KarenDM@aol.com



