Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
Mathematics is one of the greatest cultural and intellectual achievements of humankind, and citizens should develop an appreciation and understanding of that achievement" (NCTM 2000, p. 4).
NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (Grades 9-12)
North Carolina Mathematics Curriculum
History of mathematics is one topic that has become increasingly more important in the preparation of prospective teachers.
The Program Standards for Initial Preparation of Mathematics Teachers (NCATE/NCTM, 2003) requires knowledge of the historical development in the number and number systems, algebra, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, calculus, discrete mathematics, probability and statistics, and measurement and measurement systems for secondary mathematics teachers, and also includes the recommendation for knowledge of the "contributions from diverse cultures."
The MET report (AMS/MAA, 2001) has the following: "A history of mathematics course can provide middle grades teachers with an understanding of the background and historical development of many topics in the middle grades curriculum." The recommendation for history is echoed in the report's section on educating secondary teachers with the suggestion of a capstone course that includes "examination of conceptual difficultiesales.
Historical connections would be of value to anyone studying the subject, not only prospective teachers, but other mathematics and science majors as well. In their Curriculum Guide (MAA, 2004), the Mathematical Association of America's Committee on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM) recommends that mathematics programs "guide students to learn mathematics in a way that helps them to better understand its place in society: its meaning, its history, and its uses" in order "to serve all students well - not only those who major in the mathematical or physical sciences."
"The result [of including history] is that students will see mathematics as a discipline that transcends culture, time, and gender, and as a discipline for everyone, everywhere (Johnson, 1999)."