
History of Mathematics
Posted:
Sep 25, 1999 3:04 AM


I am currently having a debate with my professor regarding the NCTM Standards stance, or rather lack of a stance, on the History of Mathematics. I am an older (34) student in my last semester before student teaching. We obviously discuss the standards at length in my Methods of Teaching Mathematics course. Although, this is not as heated a topic as Algebra for All, Geomtric Proof or Calculator Use, I amazed if not shocked that there is no mention of the historical nature of mathematics in the NCTM Standards. Would any other discipline dismiss thier history. What would English be without studying the classics? What would Psychology be without studying Freud? Social Studies without studying early governments? Yet nowhere in our National Standards do we even mention that our children should know the great men of mathematics such as Euclid, Gauss, or Erdos. Yet, children would be ostracized if they did not know Shakespeare, Napoleon or Beethoven. The injection of historical notes not only makes for a more interesting class but answers the question of where or how did this come to be this way.
Bruce Nelson Northern Kentucky University Nelson4047@aol.com

