Work in Progress, Concerning the History of the so-called New Math, of the Period 1952-1975 Approximately
Here is a list of titles, whose number should increase with time, of relevant papers, chapters, and drafts, which just might some day converge upon a Book. They are all © Ralph A. Raimi unless otherwise indicated, though some of the underlying research, especially my travel to archives of the Beberman and Begle projects, was aided by an NSF Award (# 9725244), initially given me† for the year 2000-2001 but extended (without additional budget) for two more years, until the money petered out.
Whatever became of the New Math?, a brief, incomplete and biased account of the school math phenomenon of the 1960s. Amended April 12, 2005, with misgivings.† Donít take it too seriously.
Annotated chronology of the New Math, Really brief, but including a guide to the identities of the major participants as well as the events. Revised August 11, 2005
Proposed Introduction to a History of The New Math, Overview of the historical problem. Revised July 7, 2006
Ignorance in math education, a description of some of the teachings of mathematics educators on the eve of the era of "The New Math". Revised June 20, 2004
Chapter I, Max, a brief history of the beginnings of the new math at the University of Illinois in the early 1950s. It is by no means the whole story of Max Beberman, who will appear often in my proposed text. Revised May 6, 2004.
Letter to Frank Quigley, 1958, verbatim transcript of a prescient letter from me to a friend at Yale, warning of the pitfalls facing mathematicians intending via SMSG to create a revolution in mathematics education. Annotated April 16, 2004.
The CEEB Report of 1959, an account of a long-awaited report of a blue-ribbon Commission that had for three years been preparing a "Program for college preparatory mathematics". This report marked what might be called the official opening of the public debate on the virtues and defects of The New Math. Placed here August 24, 2005.
New Developments, 1959, A symposium of short papers by mathematicians, teachers and mathematics educators, published by NCTM as a special volume for broad distribution.† The papers indicate the degree to which newmath ideas (of Beberman and the CEEB Commission) had penetrated the mainstream thinking of the time. First placed here August 5, 2005, and revised October 7, 2005.
The Wood's Hole Conference of 1959, a review of the book by the psychologist Jerome Bruner which summarized the proceedings of the conference, but in fact sounded all the intellectual keynotes for the "new math" movements of the 1960s. Posted June 12, 2004.
An In-Service NSF Teachers' Institute of 1960,an account of my own efforts in educating the existing high school teachers in the early days of The New Math. Revised 21 December 2006.
The 1966 ICM Conference on The Role of Axiomatics (etc.), a lengthy report on the views of a panel of American mathematicians and mathematics educators, concerning the place of axiomatics in school mathematics. The item concerning Peter Lax, listed just below, appears within this account as the last paper reviewed. Revised 25 April, 2005.
Peter Lax on schoolchild axiomatics, 1966, a brief report on the views of a mathematician, concerning the place of axiomatics in school mathematics. Posted September 17, 2004.
Other documents will be added to this list from time to time.