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New Mathematics

  ‘New’ mathematics is the name given to trends in recent mathematics to become more dependent on set theory and logic and, particularly, to attempts dating back to the 1960s to teach mathematics by emphasizing these branches rather than more traditional methods. The idea was to make mathematics more accessible by teaching the ideas that lay at the heart of the subject, and particularly deduction. The problem, it became apparent in the 1970s, was that the children failed to understand these concepts and were also unable to carry out the most basic operations of arithmetic. So began the ‘back to basics’ approach, a return to teaching mathematics by drill and practice of elementary skills. However, it was soon realized that children were memorizing this rote-learning without understanding it, and were therefore unable to apply their knowledge to problems. The approach to mathematical education which has come out of this is to attempt to teach methods of problem solving. SMcL  



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