
Final Draft
Posted:
Oct 10, 1999 6:48 PM


Okay, here it is. The final draft. Any last comments?
To the writers of the NCTM standards:
We are a group of educators, parents, and concerned citizens who have been discussing the history of mathematics using your NCTM Standards 2000 Discussion Area. We believe that there is a serious deficiency in the standards related to the history of mathematics. While we believe mathematical content (the curriculum) should be the main focus of the standards, we also believe that a short guide on history should also be included.
We believe the NCTM organization has an obligation to mention within the new version of the 'Standards':
1. the historical nature of mathematics, 2. how mathematical contributions, both historical and current, enhance our society in new and interesting ways, 3. that most major theorems have been named after people whose contributions to mathematics ought to be recognized, 4. the great, interesting, and in many cases still yet unsolved problems of the past, and 5. the historical partnership between mathematics and science in the development of both fields, and the importance of the interplay between them.
In many cases if this is not mentioned then it will not be encompassed into curriculum verbiage and hence be considered unimportant. When even those students who are interested in mathematics do not know who our mathematical forefathers are, then mathematics becomes nothing more than a tool for engineers rather a distinguished discipline unto itself.
We invite and encourage the writers of the NCTM standards to read the thread "History of Mathematics" under "Question 1. Areas of Mathematics" for the complete discussion concerning these statements. The thread includes many ideas, opinions, and examples which should help to clarify and strengthen the points made in this letter.
We ask that an officer of NCTM reply back to the forum with NCTM's position in regards to our suggestions. This is so that we know that the writers have acknowledged and read our letter, and also to inform us of how the writers intend to use our suggestions. A list of research or literature to support NCTM's position would also be helpful in the reply. Thank you.
[Names follow]

