Date Thesis Awarded

5-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

History

Advisor

Nicholas Popper

Committee Member

Marc Sher

Committee Member

Ronald Schechter

Abstract

In the early 20th century, mathematicians and math teachers became interested in the connections between mathematics and areas of humanistic interest such as philosophy, aesthetics, music, and especially history. This thesis narrates how this interest came about and explains mathematics educators' motivation and understanding of mathematics as a humanistic discipline. Math educators reacted to an attack on their subject from progressive educators who argued that math education was inefficient or useless to children. In response, math educators stressed the cultural value of the subject, portraying it as an important part of human culture and an essential subject in the school curriculum.

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