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The New MathA Political History$
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Christopher J. Phillips

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226184968

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226185019.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021



The American Subject

(p.1) Chapter One Introduction
The New Math

Christopher J. Phillips

University of Chicago Press

The first chapter introduces the new math by situating it in two different contexts. First, the chapter locates the novel materials within contemporary curricular reform efforts. Although many curriculum reformers existed at mid-century, the new math curriculum designed by the School Mathematics Study Group under its director, Edward Begle, enjoyed the imprimatur of professional mathematicians and the financial support of the federal government. Second, the new math was part of a much older tradition in which mathematics was understood to be “good” for the mind. Since antiquity, mathematics has enjoyed a close association with reasoning well, both as a method of mental training and as a model of intellectual rigor.

Keywords:   curricular reform, mental training, Cold War, School Mathematics Study Group, Edward Begle, Mathematicians, new math

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