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Mathematics in the Elementary School: Outline for the First Five Grades

by David Eugene Smith & F. M. McMurry - 1903

II. OUTLINE FOR THE FIRST FIVE GRADES Grade I I. General Suggestions (a) In the spirit of the foregoing article, the purpose of mathematics for six-year-old children is to meet from their point of view, their daily need of number as it arises in their school studies and in their relations outside of school. And lest it may be felt that we are emphasizing the abstract, in speaking of number rather than measurement, of which latter we have recently been hearing so much, some explanation should be given. To a child, as to us, to measure anything is to count the number of times some arbitrary unit is contained in that thing. To find a ratio of one thing to another is to find how many times the one contains the other, or what part it is of the other; or, what is the same thing, to find how many times each contains some common unit. Hence the somewhat persistent argument that we should teach a child measurement rather than number, or ratio as the basis of number, is simply to say that we should teach number with due regard to its applications. To this we have already agreed; but to confine the early study of number to the measurement of lengths alone, and ratio to the consideration of an uninteresting series of blocks, is entirely foreign to our belief as expressed in the preceding article as to what arithmetic, at any stage, should be. Having now explained our understanding of the relation of number to measurement, we return to the work of the first grade.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 4 Number 2, 1903, p. 104-138
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 9770, Date Accessed: 10/16/2019 4:32:04 PM

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  • David Smith

  • F. McMurry

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