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The Teaching of Arithmetic: The Arrangement of Material

by David Eugene Smith - 1909

As already stated, the two most noteworthy changes in arithmetic in recent years have related to the nature of the problems and the arrangement of material. The latter has been the result of a more or less serious study of child psychology, namely of the powers of the individual in the various school years. Formerly, say a century or more ago, it was the custom to study arithmetic from a single book, after the boy (for the girl seldom understood mathematics of any kind) could read and write. The child was mature enough to understand the subject after a fashion, and he "went through" the book. But as arithmetic began to work its way down to the earliest grades it was found impracticable to follow this plan, the subject being too difficult for young minds. The ordinary text-book was therefore preceded by a primer on arithmetic, and thus a two-book series was formed. From this beginning numerous experiments have proceeded, seeking to carry the improvement still farther. We have had three-book series, eight-book series, lesson leaflets, two-book courses arranged by grades, and so on. We have had spirals of various degrees of turning, efforts to resume the topical arithmetic, books arranged to follow certain narrow lines of manual training, and so on, all serious efforts for betterment, but many of them too hastily considered to have any material influence.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 10 Number 1, 1909, p. 9-11
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10006, Date Accessed: 10/17/2019 9:13:41 AM

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