I. Some of the Text-Books Used in the Teaching of Elementary Mathematics in Scotland Prior to the Year 1800. II. Development of the Mathematical Curriculum in the Scottish Schools during the Same Period

Wilson, Duncan Kippen (1932) I. Some of the Text-Books Used in the Teaching of Elementary Mathematics in Scotland Prior to the Year 1800. II. Development of the Mathematical Curriculum in the Scottish Schools during the Same Period. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In dealing with the first part of my subject I have confined myself in the main to text-books written by Scotsmen and published in Scotland. In a few cases where there is clear evidence that a text-book, written by an English or a foreign author, was actually used in Scotland, I have departed from this rule. In my search for these books I have visited most of the bigger libraries in Glasgow, Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Perth. The reviews of the books are, of course, the result of actual reading. In the case of the earlier textbooks I have indulged in a more detailed description than in those of the eighteenth century, where the differences from the modern books are less marked. In Appendix C. I have noted some books on elementary mathematics, copies of which I have been unable to obtain. A question of some interest is that of whether text-books were actually handled by the pupils themselves. On this pointy there is sufficient evidence of their use by the students of the Scottish Universities and Commercial Schools, but, as regards the pupils in parochial and grammar schools and Academies, I am inclined to the view that, until the beginning of the nineteenth century, mathematical text-books were not as a rule put into the hands of the scholars. My reasons for this conclusion are two-fold. In the first place, lists of the text-books used in the famous Grammar Schools of Scotland prior to 1800 contain no mathematical works. In the second place, an examination of some mathematical note-books compiled by pupils of Perth Academy towards the end of the eighteenth century, shows these to be so exhaustive, and so laden with matter that would naturally have appeared in a text-book, that one is forced to the conclusion that these notebooks were meant to serve as text-books. The cheaper text-books on arithmetic, such as the Cocker, Melrose, and Gray, were doubtless exceptions to this general rule.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Mathematics education, Curriculum development, Education history
Date of Award: 1932
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1932-79942
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 10:18
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2020 10:18
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/79942

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