Hands on History: A Resource for Teaching Mathematics
Amy Shell-Gellasch, Editor
220 pp., paperbound, 2007
Hands-on activities are sometimes hard to come by in a mathematics classroom, and when they are available, it's usually only in the form of simple manipulatives. Hands On History: A Resource for Teaching Mathematics uses the history of mathematics as a vehicle for incorporating hands-on learning into a math student's educational experience.
Before computer modeling, mechanical models played important roles in elucidating mathematical concepts and their applications. Devices and instruments such as Napier's bones, rectangular protractors, geometric string models, French curves, sundials, and pendulum clocks allowed users to explore mathematical ideas and test concepts. By bringing such models back into the classroom, teachers can help students experience math by actively participating in its processes. Hands On History allows three important areas of a student's education to interact: mathematics and mathematical reasoning; mechanical and spatial reasoning and manipulations; and evaluation of historical versus contemporary mathematical techniques.
Edited by History of Mathematics SIGMAA Program Coordinator Amy Shell-Gellasch, Hands On History is a collection of articles written by practitioners who use the history of mathematics to promote active learning in their classrooms. The projects outlined in the book range from simple to advanced, and can be used in any high school or college mathematics course.—R. Miller
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