Elementary School Curriculum. First Year: Number
by Miriam C. Winchester - 1906
From the time that man first held social relations with his fellow-man, and began to exchange food, weapons, and ornaments, to invent, to construct, to travel, up to the present day, he has been asking the questions, "how many?", "how much?", "how far?" and "how long?" In the early stages of the development of the individual the answers have been vague and indefinite, like the Puris and Botocudos of South America who have only three words for number, "one," "two," and "many," or like the Tasmanian who has four words, "one," "two," "plenty," and "five." Number Concepts of Children The first number concepts of many children are equally indefinite, for they count "one," "two," "six," or something quite as vague. Because the need for number, as the tool of measurement, is a daily one both in the school and at home, it is our aim to lead the child from this vague, indefinite conception, where he is unable to discriminate, or to discern relations and differences, to a point where he may have a definite numerical concept.
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