© 2014

Handbook on the History of Mathematics Education

  • Alexander Karp
  • Gert Schubring


  • At present there is no text that presents the history of mathematics education across the world

  • Systematically describes the historical development of teaching methods for specific subjects: i.e. algebra, geometry, calculus

  • The first book that presents the history of mathematics education as a unified process across the world, including the history of cross-influences and cooperation


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. History and Methodology of the Field

  3. Mathematics Education in Different Epochs and in Different Regions: Antiquity and the Middle Ages

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Alain Bernard, Christine Proust, Micah Ross
      Pages 27-53
    3. Agathe Keller, Alexei Volkov
      Pages 55-83
  4. Mathematics Education in Different Epochs and in Different Regions: Premodern Period

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-127
    2. Alexander Karp, Gert Schubring
      Pages 129-151
    3. Andrea Bréard, Annick Horiuchi
      Pages 153-174
    4. Ubiratan D’Ambrosio, Joseph W. Dauben, Karen Hunger Parshall
      Pages 175-196
  5. Mathematics Education in Different Epochs and in Different Regions: Modern Period

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 197-199
    2. Hélène Gispert
      Pages 229-240
    3. Geoffrey Howson, Leo Rogers
      Pages 257-282
    4. Elena Ausejo, José Manuel Matos
      Pages 283-302
    5. Alexander Karp
      Pages 303-322

About this book


This is the first comprehensive International Handbook on the History of Mathematics Education, covering a wide spectrum of epochs and civilizations, countries and cultures. Until now, much of the research into the rich and varied history of mathematics education has remained inaccessible to the vast majority of scholars,  not least because it has been written in the language, and for readers, of an individual country. And yet a historical overview, however brief, has become an indispensable element of nearly every dissertation and scholarly article. This handbook provides, for the first time, a comprehensive and systematic aid for researchers around the world in finding the information they need about historical developments in mathematics education, not only in their own countries, but globally as well.

Although written primarily for mathematics educators, this handbook will also be of interest to researchers of the history of education in general, as well as specialists in cultural and even social history.


Education History Mathematics Teaching

Editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Karp
    • 1
  • Gert Schubring
    • 2
  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Universität Bielefeld Institut für Didaktik der MathematikBielefeldGermany

About the editors

Alexander Karp is a professor of mathematics education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics education from Herzen Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia, and also holds a degree from the same university in history and education. Currently, his scholarly interests span several areas, including the history of mathematics education, gifted education, mathematics teacher education, and the theory of mathematical problem solving. He is the managing editor of the International Journal for the History of Mathematics Education and the author of over one hundred publications, including over twenty books. Gert Schubring is a retired member of the Institut für Didaktik der Mathematik, a research institute at Bielefeld University, and at present is visiting professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). His research interests focus on the history of mathematics and the sciences in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and their systemic interrelation with social-cultural systems. One of his specializations is history of mathematics education. He has published several books, among which is Conflicts between Generalization, Rigor and Intuition: Number Concepts Underlying the Development of Analysis in 17th–19th Century France and Germany (New York, 2005). He is Chief-Editor of the International Journal for the History of Mathematics Education.

Bibliographic information


“If you are interested in mathematics education, this book provides a wealth of information. From the teaching of mathematics in antiquity to modern pedagogical practices across international borders, the book presents a compendium of the history of mathematics teaching. … it is thoroughly referenced the reader is also led to many additional resources. … As a reference book, this text will be valuable.” (Mindy Capaldi, MAA Reviews,, January, 2016)

“The Handbook on the history of mathematics education … is a milestone in the historiography of mathematics education. … The wealth of information that could enable the initiation of new research projects, and the authority of the contributors, are both superb. The book therefore, comes highly recommended; I will certainly be revisiting it many times over. It is a powerful and comprehensive introduction to the field and a must for any serious scholar of this area of intellectual history.” (Snezana Lawrence, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 92, 2016)