What is mathematics, and what aspects of it should be taught in schools? How and to whom should it be taught, and how should its understanding be assessed? These questions continue to drive curriculum development, school organization, teaching methods, and research agendas. No one today doubts that mathematics should be taught in our schools, but this was not always so. Mathematics Education Across Time and Place aims to help mathematics teachers, teacher educators, and anyone else interested in mathematics education appreciate the path this discipline has taken through the ages. To understand the historical and social context for schools and the place of mathematics within them, we meet a variety of mathematics educators from different times and places. Though fictional, their lives and social circumstances are based on historical documents and professional sources. They range from ancient Greece to modern Zimbabwe; from Persia to British Columbia; from Islamic Baghdad to revolutionary Paris; from Elizabethan England to twentieth-century New York; and from the rural one-room schools of North America to the modern comprehensive secondary school. By sharing the teachers' lives, we come to understand how they developed their love for teaching mathematics, and how their work fit into the larger social context of their time.
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About the Author
Thomas O'Shea is a retired mathematics educator and scholar. He holds bachelor's degrees in civil engineering and education, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a doctoral degree in mathematics education from the University of British Columbia. He spent ten years teaching mathematics at the secondary level in Canada, Australia, and Malaysia, and twenty-five years with the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. There he taught mathematics methods courses for elementary and secondary teachers and graduate courses in mathematics education and research design, and served on educational development projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. He received the university's first Excellence in Teaching Award in 1983, and was awarded Honourary Lifetime Membership in the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers in 2003. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, British Columbia.