Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 100, Issue 1, pp 109–116 | Cite as

Book Review: The long story of the history in mathematics education. Kathleen M. Clark, Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen, Sebastian Schorcht, & Constantinos Tzanakis (Eds.) (2018). Mathematics, education and history. Towards a harmonious partnership

Cham, Switzerland: Springer. ICME-13 Monographs, xii + 387 pp. Hardcover: ISBN: 978-3-319-73923-6. 109,99 €. eBook: ISBN: 978-3-319-73924-3. 91,62 €
  • Fulvia FuringhettiEmail author

Prolog. The reason for the title

The story of the relation between history of mathematics and mathematics education is a long one. In the past, authors were known to refer to history when designing their approach to a mathematical topic. For one, I recall Alexis Claude Clairaut who, in the preface to his manual on geometry, wrote:

… I have resolved to go back to that which may have given birth to Geometry, and I have endeavoured to develop its principles by a method such as may naturally be supposed to be that of its first inventors, taking care, however, to avoid the false attempts which they necessarily had to make. (Clairaut, 1830/1881, p. viii)1

Elsewhere, he mentioned “the dryness naturally belonging to the study of Geometry” (p. vii). These passages bring to light two themes: the role of history in inspiring teaching sequences and the change of views about mathematics promoted by history. Both of these themes are recurring in the discussion on the role of the history in...


  1. Barwell, M. E. (1913). The advisability of including some instruction in the school course on the history of mathematics. The Mathematical Gazette, 7, 72–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Branford, B. (1908). A study of mathematical education including the teaching of arithmetic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cajori, F. (1894). A history of mathematics. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Clairaut, A.-C. (1830/1881). Elements of geometry (J. Kaines, Trans.). London: C. Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, K. M., Kjeldsen, T. H., Schorcht, S., & Tzanakis, C. (Eds.). (2018). Mathematics, education and history. Towards a harmonious partnership. ICME-13 monographs. Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Demattè, A., & Furinghetti, F. (2011). History, figures, and narratives in mathematics teaching. In V. Katz & C. Tzanakis (Eds.), Recent developments on introducing a historical dimension in mathematics education. MAA notes 78 (pp. 103–112). Washington, DC: The Mathematical Association of America.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Donoghue, E. F. (2006). The education of mathematics teachers in the United States: David Eugene Smith, early twentieth-century pioneer. Paedagogica Historica, 42(4–5), 559–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fried, M. N. (2001). Can mathematics education and history of mathematics coexist? Science & Education, 10, 391–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Furinghetti, F. (2007). Teacher education through the history of mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 66, 131–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heppel, G. (1893). The use of history in teaching mathematics. Nineteenth general report of the Association for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching (pp. 19–33). Bedford: W. J. Robinson.Google Scholar
  11. Jahnke, H. N., Arcavi, A., Barbin, E., Bekken, O., Furinghetti, F., El Idrissi, A., & Weeks, C. (2000). The use of original sources in the mathematics classroom. In J. Fauvel & J. Van Maanen (Eds.), History in mathematics education: the ICMI study (pp. 291–328). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Kjeldsen, T. H., & Blomhøj, M. (2012). Beyond motivation: History as a method for learning meta-discursive rules in mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 80, 327–349.Google Scholar
  13. Klein, F. (1939). Elementary mathematics from an advanced standpoint. Part I: Arithmetic, algebra, analysis. Part II: Geometry (E. R. Hedrick & C. A. Noble, Trans.). New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  14. Krazer, A. (Ed.). (1905). Verhandlungen des dritten Internationalen Mathematiker-Kongresses. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.Google Scholar
  15. Lim, S. Y., & Chapman, E. (2015). Effects of using history as a tool to teach mathematics on students’ attitudes, anxiety, motivation and achievement in grade 11 classrooms. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 90, 189–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Radford, L. (2013). Three key concepts of the theory of objectification: Knowledge, knowing, and learning. Journal of Research in Mathematics Education, 2(1), 7–44.Google Scholar
  17. Sfard, A. (2008). Thinking as communicating: Human development, the growth of discourses, and mathematizing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Siu, M.-K. (2006). No, I don’t use history of mathematics in my class. Why?. In F. Furinghetti, S. Kaijser, & C. Tzanakis (Eds.), Proceedings HPM 2004 & ESU 4 (Rev. ed., pp. 268–277). Iraklion: University of Crete.Google Scholar
  19. Smith, D. E. (1904). The teaching of elementary mathematics. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  20. Swetz, F. J. (1995). To know and to teach: Mathematical pedagogy from a historical context. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 29, 73–88.Google Scholar
  21. Wang, K., Wang, X.-Q., Li, Y., & Rugh, M. S. (2018). A framework for integrating the history of mathematics into teaching in Shanghai. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 98, 135–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zeuthen, H.-G. (1892/1902). Histoire des Mathématiques dans l’Antiquité et le Moyen Âge. Paris: Gauthier-Villars.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di MatematicaUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly

Personalised recommendations