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The history of mathematics in the classroom. (English)
Math. Sch. (Leicester) 40, No. 4, 14-20 (2011).
Summary: This article was previously published in [the author, Math. Sch. (Leicester) 27, No. 4, 25‒31 (1998; ME 1999f.03647)], and has been chosen to be republished. From the text: Problems and problem solving are central to both the history of mathematics and the learning of mathematics. In both areas they stimulate knowledge growth. Historical problems, such as the Königsberg Bridge Problem which stimulated Euler to create Topology, can introduce students to network theory in today’s classroom. Mathematicians in history struggled to create mathematical processes and strategies which are still valuable in learning and doing mathematics. Descartes (1628) offered a wonderful set of ‘rules for the direction of the mind’ which are as valuable today as when he first used them. {\it G. Pólya}’s [How to solve it. A new aspect of mathematical method. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press (1945; ME 2015c.00402; Zbl 0061.00616)] heuristics have long been in use in mathematical classrooms. In the following worksheets a number of historical problems are posed as classroom tasks. As a mathematics teacher educator I get my student teachers to design classroom worksheets drawing on the history of mathematics as a way to open their eyes to its value. The following are a few examples of what they have produced.
Classification: A30 U63 D43
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