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The Teaching of Arithmetic: General Subjects for Experiment

by David Eugene Smith - 1909

It is well, before leaving this general discussion, to consider a few of the subjects for legitimate experiment in the teaching of arithmetic that might occupy the attention of schools like those connected with Teachers College. (1) It is desirable to know just how far recreations in number can be used to advantage in teaching arithmetic. Of course we have such games as bean bag, ring toss, and sometimes dominoes and number games with cards, used in the school room. This, however, is a mere beginning. There are many more games that are usable for children. For example, more people in the history of this world have learned elementary number through dice than in the public school, and this is only one of several widely used number games. It would be very easy to go to a ridiculous and even dangerous extreme in this matter, and a teacher who begins to work upon it will naturally tend to do this, and will need a balance wheel upon his endeavors. Nevertheless the work has never yet been done scientifically and it ought to be undertaken. This is, however, only a small part of the problem. There is the whole field of mathematical recreations that must sometime be examined scientifically. We have a large but undigested literature upon the subject, and no one has ever yet studied it from the standpoint of the definite needs of the grades. The result of such a study ought to add greatly to the interest in arithmetic, without going to any ridiculous and impractical extreme. Work there must always be in arithmetic, and it ought to be good hard work, but there is no reason why we should not let pupils see the amusements as well as the other interesting phases of the subject.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 10 Number 1, 1909, p. 39-42
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10016, Date Accessed: 10/24/2019 1:26:27 AM

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