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History of mathematics, mathematics education, and the liberal arts

Michael N. Fried

pp. 85-101

This paper considers how the history of mathematics, if it is taken seriously, can become a mode of thinking about mathematics and about one's own humanness. What I mean by the latter is that by studying the history of mathematics rather than simply using it as a tool—and that means attempting to understand it as an historian does—one becomes aware of how mathematics is something human beings do that therefore informs our human identity. In this way, the history of mathematics in mathematics education has the potential to make us fuller human beings, which is at the heart of the educational tradition known as the "liberal arts." By considering the nature of the liberal arts, we may understand better the meaning of the history of mathematics in mathematics education and, indeed, the meaning of mathematics education tout court.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-72170-5_6

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Fried, M. N. (2018)., History of mathematics, mathematics education, and the liberal arts, in G. Kaiser, H. Forgasz, M. Graven, A. Kuzniak, E. Simmt & B. Xu (eds.), Invited lectures from the 13th international congress on mathematical education, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 85-101.

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