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The Teaching of Mathematics

Nature volume 140, page 555 (25 September 1937) | Download Citation



THE mathematical subsection (A*) of the British A Association departed this year from its usual policy of presenting papers on specialized branches of research, and its sessions at Nottingham were devoted chiefly to two discussions on the teaching of mathematics. On Saturday, September 4, Prof. E. H. Neville opened a discussion on the unification of algebra in schools. Mr. T. A. A. Broadbent condemned the older school text-books as a collection of watertight compartments, and pointed out the need for the course to be systematized and unified. Mr. G. L. Parsons contrasted the older method of putting all the emphasis on technique with the newer methods of bringing out the ideas of the subject. He favoured the approach by means of the formula or the equation rather than by tedious drill in elementary algebraic processes. Mr. M. H. A. Newman gave the university point of view, particularly as regards the importance of linear transformations and matrices. Mr. W. J. Langford pointed out that changes in the school course could not be made unless such examinations as that for the School Certificate were modified correspondingly. He suggested that teachers should agree upon a policy, and then submit alternative syllabuses to the examination authorities.

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