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This resource was developed by CSMC faculty and doctoral students with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0333879. The opinions and information provided do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. 2-15-05.
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This resource was developed by CSMC faculty and doctoral students with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0333879. The opinions and information provided do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. 2-15-05
Committees and Reports that Have Influenced the Changing Mathematics Curriculum
This set of PowerPoint slides is one of a series of resources produced by the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum. These materials are provided to facilitate greater understanding of mathematics curriculum change and permission is granted for their educational use.
The Reorganization of Mathematics
in Secondary Education
National Committee on Mathematical Requirements Final Report • 1923
The Reorganization of Mathematics in Secondary Education
Appointed by MAA1916 Preliminary Report 1920Summary Report 1922Final Report 1923
the conflict of opinions on the problems of mathematics in secondary education with a focus on the following questions:
Representatives of secondary mathematics teachers’ associations:
E. L. Thorndike, Columbia University, advised the committee on matters related to psychology
1 C. N. Moore took the place vacated in 1918 by the resignation of Oswald Veblen.
2 W. F. Downey took the place vacated in 1919 by the resignation of G. W. Evans.
Two Major Parts:
Chapter 1 – A brief outline of the report
Chapter 2 – Aims of mathematical instruction—
Chapter 3 – Mathematics for grades 7, 8, 9
Chapter 4 – Mathematics for grades 10, 11, 12
Chapter 5 – College entrance requirements
Chapter 6 – Listing of propositions in plane and solid
Chapter 7 – The function concept in secondary
Chapter 8 – Terms and symbols in elementary
Chapter 9 – The present status of disciplinary values
Chapter 10 – The theory of correlation applied to
Chapter 11 – Mathematical curricula in foreign countries
Chapter 12 – Experimental courses in mathematics
Chapter 13 – Standardized tests in mathematics for
Chapter 14 – The training of teachers of mathematics
Chapter 15 – Certain questionnaire investigations
Chapter 16 – Bibliography on the teaching of mathematics
“The primary purposes of the teaching of mathematics should be to develop those powers of understanding and of analyzing relations of quantities and of space which are necessary to an insight into and control over our environment and to an appreciation of the progress of civilization in its various aspects, and to develop those habits of thought and of action which will make these powers effective in the life of the individual.”
1. Acquisition of mathematical ideas or concepts that promote quantitative thinking
2. Development of ability to think clearly in terms of such ideas and concepts
3. Acquisition of mental habits and attitudes which enable use of these ideas and concepts (1 and 2 above) in the life of the individual
4. Development of “functional thinking”—thinking in terms of and about relationships between variables
All junior high students in Grades 7, 8, and 9 should have the opportunity to study and attain mathematical knowledge and training likely needed by all citizens.
Five models for junior high school course sequencing were proposed, each reflecting some variations of a basic model.
For Years 7, 8, 9
First year: Applications of arithmetic, particularly as they relate to home, thrift, and to the various school subjects such as intuitive geometry.
Second year: Algebra and applied arithmetic, particularly as they relate to commercial, industrial, and social needs.
Third year: Algebra, trigonometry, demonstrative geometry.
In this model, arithmetic is practically completed in the second year and demonstrative geometry is introduced in the third year.
All high schools should offer mathematics courses for years 10, 11, 12 and encourage a large proportion of students to take them.
Recommended course offerings, in various configurations, included:
Four plans for high school course sequencing with slight variation to the above were proposed by the Committee.
Entrance requirements in mathematics should reflect the special mathematical knowledge and training required for the successful study of courses in the physical sciences and in the social sciences which the student will take in college.
Entrance exams should:
College admissions should be based on more than just
Identified a minimum set of propositions to be included in any standard geometry course (reduced list from the Committee of Fifteen)
Selection based on:
Proposed use of function as a unifying concept in the secondary curriculum
Major areas of impact:
Bidwell, J. K., & Clason R. G. (1970). Readings in the history of mathematics education. Washington, DC: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Kilpatrick, W. H. (1920). The problem of mathematics in secondary education. A report of the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education, appointed by the National Education Association. Bureau of Education Bulletin 1920, 1, 1-24.
Klein, D. (2003). A brief history of K-12 mathematics education in the 20th century. In J. Royer (Ed.), Mathematical cognition. Information Age Publishing.
National Committee on Mathematical Requirements (NCMR). (1923). The reorganization of mathematics in secondary education. The Mathematical Association of America.
National Committee on Mathematical Requirements (NCMR). (1927). The reorganization of mathematics in secondary education (Part I).Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1970). A history of mathematics education in the United States and Canada. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.