The Hungarian who taught mathematics
to tribal Papuans
Excerpt from the article:
Zoltán Dienes, who inspired the thinking of children throughout the world with his mathematical games, passed away this January at the age of 97. A mathematics teacher, sometimes also called a magician, he wanted to protect students from the misery that was in wait for them in classrooms, and to build a new foundation for mathematics education. He believed that real knowledge is the ability to apprehend problems arising from our environment. Americans, who had a hard time recovering from the shock of the Sputnik crisis were open to new methods and thus Dienes’s approach became popular in the USA in the early 1960s. His tools based on exploration and discovery were developed to represent mathematical structures, and enabled students and teachers to become equal, creative partners. Despite the early enthusiasm, Dienes is rarely mentioned nowadays.
Read the full article: Click to read English translation of article by Anna Mecs