Willy Servais and Tamás Varga had a major influence on the development of mathematics education during the 1960s and 1970s, both in their home countries and internationally. In 1971 they jointly published Teaching School Mathematics–A Unesco Source Book, a review of curriculum reforms that were under way in different parts of the world. The
...book, presenting several modern syllabuses as well as examples of classroom techniques and segments of teacher-student dialogues, provided an often consulted guide to the field of mathematics education. We re-read this book and in this way acquire a unique insight into the modernization efforts of school mathematics during the 1960s and early 1970s. We take this opportunity to discuss the sometimes partly divergent views of Servais and Varga on modern mathematics education as reflected in this book.
This paper presents Tamás Varga’s work focusing especially on the Hungarian Complex Mathematics Education reform project led by him between 1963 and 1978 and the underlying conception on mathematics education named “Guided Discovery approach”. In the first part, I describe Varga’s career. In the second part, I situate his reform projec
...t in its international and national historical context, including the international “New Math” movement and the “Guided Discovery” teaching tradition, something which is embedded in Hungarian mathematical culture. In the third part, I propose a didactic analysis of Varga’s conception on mathematics education, underlining especially certain of its characteristics which can be related to Inquiry Based Mathematics Education. Finally I briefly discuss Varga’s legacy today.