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Topic: Math History and Math Pedagogy
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Karen Dee Michalowicz

Posts: 215
Registered: 12/4/04
Math History and Math Pedagogy
Posted: Jul 4, 1995 8:33 AM
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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

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).


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
703-356-1920(w) E-Mail:
Fax: (703) 790-9712 --or--

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