11 votes
Accepted

What on earth was Old Math?

New math was introduced in the US in the 1960s. Before it was introduced, math was taught very algorithmically with little emphasis on understanding. Student were taught a method to do an arithmetic ...
Amy B's user avatar
  • 8,037
10 votes

Did Americans, before new math came in to schools, really say, 'three from two is nine carry the one", instead of borrowing ten from the tens column?

It sounds like a variation of subtracting that I learned in high school (1968). My instructor called it European subtraction. \begin{array}{ccc} & 3 & 4 & 2 \\ - & 1 & 7 & 3 \...
Steven Alexis Gregory's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Where can I find primary sources from the New Math movement in the 60s?

The following three books are, I believe, the most significant of the earlier treatments of new math, and I suspect you can find much in them that will direct you towards literature for your questions ...
Dave L Renfro's user avatar
8 votes

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

Please refer to Whatever became of the New Math?, a series written by Professor Raimi of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Rochester, and also Whatever Happened To New Math?. Together ...
Ming Lei's user avatar
6 votes

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

There is an article by Phillips: Phillips, C. "In accordance with a `more majestic order': the new math and the nature of mathematics at midcentury." Isis 105 (2014), no. 3, 540--563 that presents ...
Mikhail Katz's user avatar
  • 2,142
5 votes

SMSG: Did any school districts actual teach the curriculum as planned and what were the results for the teachers and students?

Just a short addition. Ed Begle published a valuable study through MAA/NCTM entitled "Critical Variables in Mthematics Education", which was an attempt (in part) to sort out some of the lessons of the ...
Richard Larson's user avatar
4 votes

SMSG Materials Available

I know a research group in the School of Education at the University of Michigan that would be very happy to receive them. My email address is in my profile.
mweiss's user avatar
  • 17.3k
4 votes

SMSG: Did any school districts actual teach the curriculum as planned and what were the results for the teachers and students?

I started SMSG math in 4th or 5th grade in Washington State in 1961. I liked it a lot. I still remember the yellow softcover text I was given and liked that I could write in it. I hung onto that ...
Anne Petit's user avatar
3 votes

Was there an SMSG (New Math) "Algebra 2" text?

The SMSG textbook for algebra II and trig was entitled "Modern Algebra and Trigonometry, Book 2" by Dolciani, Berman, and Wooton, published by Houghton-Mifflin. We used this during my junior ...
nowradioguy's user avatar
3 votes

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

I understand that this is an old question, but still a good topic. I was an elementary student in the ‘60sf when, in 5th grade, they changed to teaching “New Math”. Problem was, the teacher didn’t ...
Bkb's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes

SMSG: Did any school districts actual teach the curriculum as planned and what were the results for the teachers and students?

I had it in my Lansing, Michigan 5th grade class in 1961. I recall that approximately 30% of us were 'selected' somehow. Loved it.
Janet Maceda's user avatar
2 votes

Did Americans, before new math came in to schools, really say, 'three from two is nine carry the one", instead of borrowing ten from the tens column?

Lehrer describes two different "old" methods, commonly referred to as the equal additions method and the decomposition method. The descriptions I have seen of these methods use the term &...
Will Orrick's user avatar
  • 1,122
1 vote

Have there been attempts to base early math education on category theory?

Dan Ghica has a blog post on discovering category theory for primary school children by way of knot theory. Quite charming, I think, albeit not really an answer to your question. Still, I thought it ...
J W's user avatar
  • 4,635
1 vote

Have there been attempts to base early math education on category theory?

Great question! Yes, this was Piaget's project after initially working with more classic structuralism (e.g. his text titled Structuralism). He explicitly mentions Mac Lane's work in his book on ...
jfkoehler's user avatar
  • 994
1 vote

SMSG: Did any school districts actual teach the curriculum as planned and what were the results for the teachers and students?

A lot of places ran it. Fairfax county was one. Results were decent. But you had a very strong, i.e. non typical demographic. Personally I didn't hate it. But I don't buy the hype either. It's ...
guest's user avatar
  • 157
1 vote

What was the problem with New Math? Why did it end?

They failed to deliver the punchline: the uniqueness of the reals, as a [complete] ordered field. Once numbers were under­stood as forming an ordered field, and the positive integers among them ...
arivero's user avatar
  • 231
1 vote

Was there an SMSG (New Math) "Algebra 2" text?

Dolciani eventually went on to write an explicit 'Algebra 2' book, used in the 1970's and 1980's commonly. That Algebra 2 book has an exact replica of the material in the SMSG Intermediate ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 11

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