Decision-Making in Mathematics Education

  • Zalman Usiskin


At ICME IV, we were reminded that in the middle ages the long division algorithm was so new and advanced that at least one school decided to teach long division and advertised this in the hope of attracting students. This underscores two longstanding properties of the school curriculum: it is changeable and those who have made decisions to change it have done so for a variety of rationales regarding what is best for the people for whom the curriculum is intended. Yet mathematics students throughout the world seldom think of their school experiences as being shaped by people and subject to decision-making. They are more likely to believe that arithmetic and other aspects of mathematics are facts of life that have been part of the school curriculum since the beginning of time.


Mathematics Education Transfer Rationale Scholastic Aptitude Test Entrance Test Early Algebra 
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Notes and References

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    This suggestion does not appear in the Report of the Conference on the K-12 Mathematics Curriculum, Snowmass, Colorado, June 21–24, 1973 (Bloomington, IN: Mathematics Education Development Center, Indiana University, 1973), because recommendations in that report required some group consensus.Google Scholar
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    For information, write the Calculator Information Center, 1200 Chambers Road, Columbus, Ohio 43212.Google Scholar
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    National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. “Position paper on basic mathematical skills.” Minneapolis, Minnesota: NCSM, 1977.Google Scholar
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    “NCTM-MAA position statement on recommendations for the preparation of high school students for college mathematics courses.” Washington, D.C.: NCTM or MAA, 1978.Google Scholar
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    National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Agenda for Action. Washington, D.C.: NCTM, 1980.Google Scholar
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    Cambridge Conference on School Mathematics. Goals for School Mathematics. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin, 1963.Google Scholar
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    Zalman Usiskin. “What should not be in the algebra and geometry curricula of average college-bound students?” The Mathematics Teacher 73 (September 1980) 413–424.Google Scholar
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    Harold Fawcett. Thirteenth Yearbook; The Nature of Proof. New York: New York, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1938.Google Scholar
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    Robert E. Stake, Jack A. Easley, et al. Case Studies in Science Education: Volume II: Design, Overview and General Findings. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation, 1978, pp. 12–33 ff.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zalman Usiskin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ChicagoUSA

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