Geometric Exercises for Algebraic Solution: Second Year Mathematics for Secondary Schools (Classic Reprint)by George Williams Myers
The reasons against the plan in common vogue in secondary schools of breaking the continuity of algebra by dropping it for a whole year after barely starting it, are numerous and strong. Perhaps the only argument that need be cited here is that this procedure
Excerpt from Geometric Exercises for Algebraic Solution: Second Year Mathematics for Secondary Schools
The reasons against the plan in common vogue in secondary schools of breaking the continuity of algebra by dropping it for a whole year after barely starting it, are numerous and strong. Perhaps the only argument that need be cited here is that this procedure creates - and that, too, gratuitously - an educational gap, and that the modern science of education is fundamentally hostile to gaps. Everywhere today interest and continuity in educational procedure are insisted upon. The hiatus here is no less glaring than that between the grades and the first high-school year. The fact that the former is less talked about than the now "classical gap" means only that fewer students of education are interesting themselves in the virtues of mathematical than of general education.
With no other subject of the curriculum does a loss of continuity and consecutiveness work so great havoc as with mathematics. To attain high educational results from any body of mathematical truths, once grasped, it is profoundly important that subsequent work be so planned and executed as to lead the learner to see their value and to feel their power through manifold uses. They must be followed up consecutively, and before very long. The view, here and there heard, that it is best for the learner to let previously acquired knowledge and skill get entirely away from him, that he may return to it with renewed vigor and pleasure, is based on the assumption that former teaching has either killed the interest, or never generated any interest, in the subject and, hence, the view is without grounds to support it. Mathematical education has suffered too long, and has even yet found too little relief, from the conception of the drill-master, rather than the teacher.
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