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The New Math
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The New Math: A Political History

Christopher J. Phillips

Abstract

The new math changed the way Americans think about mathematics. The mathematicians and teachers who designed the novel and controversial curriculum in the late 1950s--generously supported by the National Science Foundation--believed that citizens in modern society needed to learn “modern” mathematics. New math’s proponents wanted to present mathematics as an abstract, and highly structured, system of knowledge, not as a set of computational facts or rules. The curriculum’s significance extended far beyond the math classroom, however. Its supporters desired nothing less than reforming American ... More

Keywords: new math, National Science Foundation, School Mathematics Study Group, history of science, American political history, mathematics curriculum, curriculum reform, mental habits, intellectual discipline, Cold War

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780226184968
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226185019.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher J. Phillips, author
Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University

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