A Short History of Mathematics Teaching and Learning Part 1

As I progress through my 36th year of teaching, I can’t help but reflect on the many changes that have taken place. As a secondary student I did not have a calculator until Year 12. And so I depended on:

Kaye and Laby, 1968. Four-Figure Mathematical Tables. Longman, Aust.

Columns and columns of logarithms, anti-logarithms, sines, cosines, tangents, reciprocals, squares, cubes and the standard normal distribution.

old math tools

My first calculator was a Novus Scientific (Mathematician) with LED numerals, a 9V battery and Reverse Polish Notation. After 40 years it is still in good working order!

Until Year 12 though I did pages and pages of calculations using logarithms and antilogs. My Year 10 Maths folder (1971) as shown above was meticulously set out.

I show my students these items in the hope that they will also do their best and make the most of their learning opportunities.


About webmaths

I have been teaching Mathematics in Victorian secondary schools for 30 years. I use the www to make my maths lessons better. I hope this blog will give other teachers some ideas to try in their own classes.
This entry was posted in History of Mathematics, Personal, Show and Tell and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Short History of Mathematics Teaching and Learning Part 1

  1. Linda says:

    OMG – this could be my story! Year 12 in 1977- the first year calculators were allowed in exams in Victoria.

  2. J Trott says:

    My first calculator was a Decimo Vatman in 1975 when I was in the 4th year of high school in the UK. My second was a Novus 4520 Scientist (same as yours but with scientific notation) in my first year of the 6th form in 1976.

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