Routh's Men

in Masters of Theory

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226873749
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226873763 | DOI:
Routh's Men

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This chapter emphasizes the importance of the pedagogical resources that drove changes, paying special attention to new methods of teaching and examining as well as the regimes of physical and intellectual exercise engaged in by the students themselves. It presents two important aspects of Cambridge pedagogy. The first of these concerns the relative significance of individual components of the training process. The success of an economy of this kind was heavily dependent not only on the organizational skills of the coach but on regular face-to-face interaction between the coach and his pupils. This chapter embarks upon an ethnographic study of coaching-room practice. By drawing upon firsthand accounts of Routh's teaching as well as the coaching manuscripts of his successor, R. R. Webb, it reconstructs something of the manner in which an outstanding coach addressed his pupils while teaching at the blackboard. It was through watching and listening to these performances that students picked up part of the coach's unique approach to mathematics, an approach that could not be learned simply from the unsupervised use of textbooks and private study.

Keywords: training; mathematics; private study; Routh; economy

Chapter.  23377 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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