Creating Tools of American Mathematics Teaching
Peggy Kidwell, Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, & Dave Roberts
December 9, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
Mathematical Association of America Carriage House
1781 Church Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Peggy Kidwell, Amy Ackerberg-Hastings, and Dave Roberts will speak about their recent book, Tools of American Mathematics Teaching, 1800-2000, which takes an innovative approach to the history of mathematics education by telling the stories of how specific objects came to be used in classrooms. These stories demonstrate the complex interplay among ideas, individuals, institutions, and techniques, suggesting how broad developments in mathematics and the mathematical community were and were not reflected in material objects used in schools. The speakers will provide an overview of their book’s origin and contents, with special attention to three cases: protractors, geometric models, and linkages.
Peggy Aldrich Kidwell obtained her PhD. in history of science from Yale University. She is Curator of Mathematics at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. An interest in the history of mathematics education has led not only to the book to be discussed, but to web sites with addresses http://americanhistory.si.edu/teachingmath/ and http://americanhistory.si.edu/mobilizing/. She also is intrigued by the history of calculating devices and of mathematical recreations.
Amy Ackerberg-Hastings holds a doctorate in history of technology and science from Iowa State University. She teaches history online for University of Maryland University College. She has written on the history of American mathematics textbooks, and her current project concerns the correspondence and biography of Scottish mathematician and geologist, John Playfair.
David Lindsay Roberts has degrees in mathematics (M.A., UW-Madison) and the history of science (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins), and has taught both these subjects at the college level. He is currently an adjunct professor and tutor in developmental mathematics at Prince George’s Community College. His historical research focuses on the interaction between research mathematicians and school mathematics, from the late nineteenth century to the present.