The Committee of Fifteen and the First Movements about the Teaching of Algebra in the Brazilian Primary School

Jeremias Stein Rodriguês, David Antonio da Costa


At the end of the XIX century, movements that propose the reform of the primary school in the United States are started. The aim of this paper is to find out what changes proposed to the American teaching of mathematics are, specifically about the teaching of algebra and the knowledge related to it, while seeking indications of the circulation of those ideas in Brazil. To perform an historiographic research, which aims to the writing of a historic narrative, we use the theoretical contributions of the Cultural History based on Burke and Chartier and the studies about the circulation and appropriation of ideas by Oliveira and Warde. As sources of the research are the reports of those movements, textbooks on algebra and arithmetic teaching, notes from a conference given by Othello S. Reis about the insertion of algebra in the primary school, and other documents. It was found that a Committee of fifteen was created to propose changes in the U.S. primary school because of a previous study, done by the Committee of ten. One of the proposals of both committees can be highlighted: the teaching of algebra topics in the two last years of the primary school. The ideas of the committee about algebra were brought to Brazil, in an explicit way, in one conference presented by Othello S. Reis, and it was revealed that those ideas had already been presented in Antonio Trajano’s textbooks, in editions that preceded the committee’s study.


history of mathematics education; teaching of algebra; primary school; committee of fifteen

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Direitos autorais 2019 Jeremias Stein Rodriguês, David Antonio da Costa

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