What was the Madison Project?

by Schulman, Steven M., Ed.D., RUTGERS THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY - NEW BRUNSWICK, 2009, 423 pages; 3373682


This dissertation details the history of the Madison Project, a unique "New Math" program that emerged during the 1950's and 60's in the United States. The Madison Project was the vision of "university mathematician" and math educator, Robert B. Davis.

The Madison Project is presented as a product of its times, reflecting relevant national and international "forces" and "issues" that were at work. Transitory forces are examined against persistent issues; why we teach math (reason), what we teach (content), when we teach it (curriculum), and how we teach it (pedagogy). Developments in educational philosophy and learning theory are considered as well. The study suggests there were critical links between the Cold War, the American Civil Rights Movement, and the reform in math and science education that ensued.

The study acknowledges the roles played by psychologists, math educators, and mathematicians. It also examines the contemporary math programs of the period, and new uses of manipulative materials that emerged. It presents Davis' views of the Project, along with the views of participants who worked with him. Most of these other views were collected by telephone-interview. Complete transcripts of these interviews are included in the appendices of this study.

AdviserCatherine A. Lugg
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsMathematics education; Education history; Educational psychology
Publication Number3373682

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