The New MathDate: 07/05/2000 at 13:26:02 From: Harold Williams Subject: The New Math What is the "New Math?" Date: 07/05/2000 at 22:45:13 From: Doctor Jaffee Subject: Re: The New Math Hi Harold, The "New Math" is an expression that refers to a method of teaching mathematics that had its origins in the late 1950's and was adopted by many school systems in the 60's, peaked in the mid-1970's, and then faded out. Its purpose was to modernize mathematics education by stressing the understanding of concepts, rather than memorizing methods for solving problems. The proponents of this system hoped that if students understood the structure of mathematical systems, they would understand why they were doing what they were doing, as compared to earlier students, who were able to solve math problems by memorizing techniques that their teachers provided but didn't really know what they were doing or why it worked. Unfortunately, many teachers were not prepared for these revolutionary ideas. The media ridiculed and satirized their attempts and students became frustrated by the situation. Officially, "new math" was scrapped, but many of the better ideas of the "new math" were incorporated in newer texts and the current Principles and Standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics follows the spirit of the ideas of the "new math." - Doctor Jaffee, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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