This is the summary of a presentation given at the Joint Mathematics
Meetings, January 10-13, 1996, Orlando, Florida.
A Constructivist Approach to the History of Mathematics
Constructivist learning principles were applied by the author in a senior level History of Mathematics course required for prospective secondary math teachers. The objectives of the course were delineated by a set of 21 Course Questions distributed the first day of class. These questions were especially designed to draw parallels between the way individuals construct mathematical knowledge and the way cultures construct such knowledge. The Course Questions also served as the primary assessment mechanism for the course. This paper will discuss implementation details, student response, and performance outcomes. Possibilities for employing similar techniques in other courses will also be considered.
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