An ill-considered novelty? (Een onbekookte Nieuwigheid?: Invoering, omvang, inhoud en betekenis van het wiskundeonderwijs op de Franse en Latijnse scholen 1815-1863.) (Dutch) Zbl 0881.01009

Delft: TU Delft, 295 p. (1997).
The work analyzes the development of mathematics teaching at the secondary-school level in Holland from 1815 to 1863. In the former year, mathematics education was made compulsory in the Latin schools, at first without having much weight nor more substance than the teacher of Greek and Latin was able to fill into it; only in 1826 a minimum program was introduced, which culminated with logarithms, second-degree algebra and the geometry of Elements I–V. This reform, mainly championed by the mathematics Professor Jacob de Gelder from Leyden University (who emphasized the formative value of mathematics rather than its utility), encountered considerable resistance from the teachers of classical languages for about a decade (whence the title of the work).
In vocational schools and the “French schools” that prepared for commercial activities, mathematics had been taught already in the eighteenth century. After 1838 schools of the latter type were integrated with the Latin school; the result was the “Gymnasium”, whose “second departments” concentrated on modern languages and mathematics. In 1863, this institution gave rise to the creation of the HBS, a Dutch variant of the German Realschule, which is often seen as the real starting point for modern mathematics education in Holland – in the author’s opinion to an extent that neglects the contributions of the preceding 30-40 years. (Only the abstract was sent for review).


01A55 History of mathematics in the 19th century