>In the late 50s I was involved (as an elementary student) in some kind of >experimental math program...........
I wonder if your school was connected to something called "Illinois Math" that was funded in the 50s by Carnegie as a scholar-led curriculum innovation that was meant to expose students to the ideas and modes of thinking that were, then, seen as part of the work of real mathematicians. This was based at the University of Illinois under the direction of Max Beberman with the help of David Page who Peter Dow in his book _Schoolhouse Politics_ (Harvard University Press, 1991) calls a brilliant teacher of mathematics. Although Illinois Math was focused on high school, Page apparently worked with elementary students and, according to Dow, he overwhelmed mathematicians at one conference with a demonstration of how well fifth graders could be pushed to think mathematically by a skillful teacher. Page was an articulate spokesperson for the position that teachers who knew mathematics well were likely to be able to teach it best to young students.
Perhaps others on this list can elaborate more about Illinois Math.
By the way, what makes this whole book interesting and useful is that it reviews the history of curriculum reform of the 1950s - which involved university-based educators - in a way that suggests lessons for standards-based curriculum today.
Anne Wheelock email@example.com Boston, Massachusetts, USA