I'm writing a comparative study between mathematical teaching in my country (which sucks by the way) with others. However, I don't want to make it about today, globalization gives us a good notion of that; what I want is to understand how (mathematical) education was before WWI in England, Germany and France, which are the countries that produced the most genious mind in terms philosophy of mathematics. The problem is: I don't know any book who treats the subject. I already searched on archive.org and found nothing! Any help would be appreciated. Have a nice day.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure on the correlation you seek. Mind elaborating on how such information could be useful on improving your country's education? $\endgroup$ – Chris C Mar 25 '15 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisC I apologize if I didn't make myself clear. My contry lacks thinkers. We don't produce culture, and that's why our technology is weak. When people here, like the Ancient Greeks, start doing mathematics for love of knowledge, and not because they want to win the Fields Medal, things (at least I believe), will get better. Thats way I want to know how education was those days, because it produced a lot of people that shaped the world the way we know it, and the educational system in my country obviuosly doesn't work. Of course, it's about culture also, but it all starts in education! $\endgroup$ – Ricardo Mar 25 '15 at 1:38

One reference from before WWI:

W.W Rouse Ball, A History of the Study of Mathematics at Cambridge, 1889.

A synoptic review from the middle ages to the nineteenth century of the curricula, the mathematics studied, methods of instruction, student life, notable students in mathematics, notable professors, and reforms at Cambridge; plus a brief history of the university.

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    $\begingroup$ Mind elaborating on the topics covered? $\endgroup$ – Chris C Mar 26 '15 at 19:31

If you want to have any idea about the mathematics education in Schools in Great Britain many years ago, you should read The Cockcroft Report. This documen is free access


There is an article about the educational system for studying mathematics in Germany in the 19. century:

Lorey, W. (1916). Das Studium der Mathematik an den deutschen Universitäten seit Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts (pp. 85-86). http://dx.doi.org/10.1090/S0002-9904-1924-03856-7

Don't worry about the German title, the article is in English :-) You can also find a PDF online.


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