How not to Teach Geometry


As I have come across an almost unforeseen development of the above heading, I take the liberty of bringing it before your readers. For myself I may state that I have considered the “learn a proposition off by heart” method was sufficiently bad, but what is to be made of the method described in the following extract from a note which I recently received from my friend:— “We have half of a proposition written on the board, and then we write it at home from memory; then the other half is written on the board, and we write that at home from memory. Then we have to learn the whole proposition at once, to be able to write or say it with different letters. We are not allowed to have a printed Euclid book—we are only allowed to have a book of Enunciations.”

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

WOODALL, H. How not to Teach Geometry. Nature 41, 60 (1889).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.