Thursday, May 5, 2011

Louis Paul Benezet and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

Some blog followers might be interested in a discussion-list post “Louis Paul Benezet and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics ” [Hake (2011)].

The abstract reads:


ABSTRACT: Maria Droujkova of the NaturalMath list pointed to the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (JHM).

According to the editors Mark Huber and Gizem Karaali “[For us] the term humanistic mathematics means ‘the human face of mathematics.’ Thus our emphasis is on the aesthetic, cultural, historical, literary, pedagogical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects as we look at mathematics as a human endeavor. More broadly, we aim to provide a forum for both academic and informal discussions about matters mathematical.”

In 1991 JHM lived up to that ideal by reprinting the ground-breaking articles by Louis Paul Benezet (1935/36) “The Teaching of Arithmetic I, II, III: The Story of an Experiment” [Benezet (1935, 1936)]. Therein Louis Paul Benezet - see e.g. and - showed a way to make math education work: viz., abandon the mindless drill that goes with most formal instruction of mathematics in the lower grades in favor of his “new 3 R’s”: reading, reasoning, and reciting, where “reciting” meant “speaking the English language.”


To access the complete 7 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University

Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands

President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References

which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)

“A society's competitive advantage will come, not from how well its schools teach the multiplication and periodic tables, but from how well they stimulate imagination and creativity.”

-- Commonly attributed to Albert Einstein

REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by and accessed on 5 May 2011.]

Benezet, L.P. (1935, 1936). “The Teaching of Arithmetic I, II, III: The Story of an Experiment.” Journal of the National Education Association 24(8): 241-244 (1935); 24(9): 301-303 (1935); 25(1): 7-8 (1936). The articles (a) were reprinted in the Humanistic Mathematics Newsletter 6: 2-14 (May 1991); (b) are on the web along with other Benezetia at the Benezet Centre

Hake, R.R. 2011. “Louis Paul Benezet and the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 5 May 2011 15:03:46-0700 to AERA-L, NaturalMath, and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post were transmitted to various discussion lists.

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