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Tools of American Mathematics Teaching, 1800–2000

, 440 pages

81 halftones, 3 line drawings

July 2008



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

Tools of American Mathematics Teaching, 1800–2000

From the blackboard to the graphing calculator, the tools developed to teach mathematics in America have a rich history shaped by educational reform, technological innovation, and spirited entrepreneurship.

In Tools of American Mathematics Teaching, 1800–2000, Peggy Aldrich Kidwell, Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, and David Lindsay Roberts present the first systematic historical study of the objects used in the American mathematics classroom. They discuss broad tools of presentation and pedagogy (not only blackboards and textbooks, but early twentieth-century standardized tests, teaching machines, and the overhead projector), tools for calculation, and tools for representation and measurement. Engaging and accessible, this volume tells the stories of how specific objects such as protractors, geometric models, slide rules, electronic calculators, and computers came to be used in classrooms, and how some disappeared.

Peggy Aldrich Kidwell is curator of the mathematics collections at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Amy Ackerberg-Hastings is an associate adjunct professor of history at the University of Maryland University College. David Lindsay Roberts is an adjunct professor in the Department of Developmental Mathematics at Prince George's Community College.

"Each chapter is an enjoyable short story... worth having on an educator’s shelf."

"This book will be a crucial reference for anyone trying to understand the history of mathematics education in America."

"The history of mathematics education has attracted increasing numbers of researchers and consequently it has become enriched by substantive and thought-provoking works... The list of such works has been augmented with this new, exemplary study."

"The authors have done a heroic amount of research and have woven it into a compelling history that any educator will find illuminating."

"Educators, historians, mathematicians, or indeed anyone who has gone through public or private school in the last 200 years will enjoy this book."

"Kidwell, Ackerberg-Hastings, and Roberts deftly attend to how objects have been central to mathematical teaching in the United States"

"This book is an important and comprehensive contribution to the history of mathematics education in America... It provides an interesting and engaging view of mathematics education in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."

"The volume is well written and richly documented, accompanied by instructive illustrations, thanks to the authors' extensive research.... This exemplary study should challenge others to analyze similar developments in classroom practice in other countries as well."

"The authors of this volume have provided mathematics educators and other interested parties with a wealth of information and insights into an area of mathematics education that has been largely ignored. This volume is certainly an excellent and welcomed addition to the mathematics educator's library."

"The book is quite attractive with its many pictures... It would be a nice addition to a department common room or undergraduate lounge, particularly given the format that provides a few pages of description for many different tools, making it a good book for browsing. For the serious student of the history of mathematics education or educational technology, or even the general history of mathematics, this volume provides much information unavailable elsewhere, and, because of that, I believe this is a book that belongs in your university library."

"Thorough and well researched... This book is essential for anyone involved in mathematics education."

" Tools of American Mathematics Teaching, 1800–2000 is a highly unusual, well-written book that will entice those who have been on either side of the lectern."

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