The process of re-designing the geometry curriculum: the case of the Mathematical Association in England in the early twentieth century

Fujita, Taro and Jones, Keith (2011) The process of re-designing the geometry curriculum: the case of the Mathematical Association in England in the early twentieth century. International Journal for the History of Mathematics Education, 6, (1), 1-23.


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This paper examines a key period of change in geometry teaching in England. Our focus is the character and nature of the recommendations of the 1902 geometry report of the UK Mathematical Association. We analyse historical documents of the Mathematical Association using a theoretical framework informed by work in the sociology of education. Our analysis shows that the character and recommendations of the Mathematical Association report were influenced by various factors including: that Mathematical Association members at the time still respected the traditional Euclidean approach to geometry as a basis for school geometry; that the academic and ‘power’ resources available to the Mathematical Association at the time were not sufficient to enable a complete change from the traditional approach; that a lack of consensus between the various members of the Mathematical Association prevented a more radical proposal; and that the general climate in schools at that time was not prepared for far-reaching changes to the teaching of geometry. These findings accord with other research on educational reform which indicates that curriculum change processes are invariably complex and often subject to much politicking.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The pagination of this author's pre-print is almost identical to the published version.
ISSNs: 1932-8818 (print)
1932-8826 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Keywords: pedagogy, curriculum, teaching, learning, geometry, mathematics, england, geometric, geometrical, textbook, deductive reasoning, proof, proving, school, national curriculum, euclid, euclidean, classroom, reform, mathematical association
Subjects: L Education > LA History of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Education > Mathematics and Science Education
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Southampton Education School > Mathematics, Science & Health Education (MSHE)
ePrint ID: 183091
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 03 May 2011 08:19
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:36

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