Download PDF by George St. Lawrence Carson: Essays On Mathematical Education

By George St. Lawrence Carson

ISBN-10: 1436838215

ISBN-13: 9781436838214

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Most of the mechanical intuitions formed by the race as a whole have been mistaken, and i t is just this fact w h i c h gives some indication of the proper commencement for the second course, i n w h i c h the intuitive postulates are to be analysed and reduced as far as possible. L e t the student learn s o m e t h i n g of the history of mechanics, realising that ideas w h i c h he regards as impossible and absurd were held, by m e n o f great eminence, w i t h faith just as strong as that w h i c h he places i n his geometrical postulates.

T h e formalists thus seek u n i t y of treatment for a class i n generality of presentation, the moderns seek it among the experiences and concepts of the various pupils. Fortunately for education i n general, this modern search is certain to prove successful as regards children, because 42 MATHEMATICAL EDUCATION their experiences and imaginations r u n i n grooves more or less alike ; they are interested i n puzzles, hidden treasures, travels, railways, ships, and the like, and problems concerned w i t h these entities are real to t h e m no matter how absurd they appear from the standpoint of practical life.

T h e question w i l l probably receive an affirmative answer f r o m each one of you, but you may perhaps add that I am w a l k i n g i n the mists w h i c h hide from us the development of future centuries; that sufficient unto the day is the vision thereof; and that the ground to which I invite you is a morass w h i c h may conceivably be made firm by our great-grandchildren. SOME U N R E A L I S E D POSSIBILITIES 51 Nevertheless, I am g o i n g to ask you to bear w i t h me while I endeavour to convince you that we can now com­ mence to bridge the morass.

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Essays On Mathematical Education by George St. Lawrence Carson


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