Modern Math Demonstration Boards
NAxxxx.0019

Summary Information

Repository
Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Creator
Stibal, Willard Octive, 1915- .
Title
Modern Math Demonstration Boards
ID
NAxxxx.0019
Date
Circa 1960-1967
Extent
1.0 Linear feet
Language
English
Abstract
Two teacher’s models of the Modern Math Demonstration Board designed by Dr. Willard O. Stibal.

Preferred Citation note

Recommended citation: Modern Math Demonstration Boards, Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Dr. Willard O. Stibal

Dr. Willard O. Stibal was born in 1915 and grew up in Minnesota and was a high school athlete. After graduating from high school in 1934, he spent a year in the Civilian Conservation Corps, then entered college in 1935. He did some teaching work while in college, and continued teaching after graduating from college in 1939. He married Laura Schwankl in 1941. Dr. Stibal served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He returned to education work after the war, entered graduate school, and received a Ph.D. in 1953 from the University of Minnesota. He taught at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, then at the Eastern Montana College of Education in Billings, and then joined the faculty of Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1959, where he continued his educational work until his retirement in 1983. During the introduction of an instructional approach often called the “new math” in the 1960s, Dr. Stibal developed, tested, and marketed teaching aids for visually demonstrating mathematical concepts to elementary and secondary school students. He has authored numerous other materials related to mathematics education. Dr. Stibal has also written a biography, The Gentleman Giant: The Life and Times of NFL Giant Star Dale Burnett and His Kansas Roots, and a history, F.D.R.’s Secret Army: How World Events Ultimately Affected Life in Small Town, U.S.A.; How the Depression Led to the Establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps and How This Writer Came to be in Roosevelt’s Secret Army. Dr. Stibal resides in Emporia, Kansas.

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Scope and Contents note

The Modern Math Demonstration Board was a teaching aid used to graphically show math problems and relationships from elementary level to more technical mathematics. It appears to be part of the education trend begun in the 1960s often called the “new math” or “modern math.” The models in this collection are the teacher model, which is larger but similar to a student model not represented in this collection.

The teacher model of the Modern Math Demonstration Board is 24 inches square, made of metal, painted with a red background and yellow text and markings. The markings include a kind of coordinate grid and a large circle, and numbers marking the grid. Notes taped to the back of one of the boards indicate that pieces of various sizes and colors could be placed on the board to graphically illustrate mathematical concepts and functions. These pieces are not in the collection. The front of the board is labeled with the name “Stibal-Burns Inc.” of Emporia, Kansas, and the notes on the back of one board mention the name J. Frank Burns, B.S.Ed.

The notes taped on the back of one of the boards indicate that Dr. Stibal had been researching this method of teaching since 1960. A photograph in the 1967 Sunflower shows Dr. Stibal using a Modern Math Demonstration Board with school children, and a 1968 article in the  Bulletin reports on the years of development and testing of the board, along with the positive academic results in those tests.

The Bulletin article reports that the Modern Math Demonstration Board had been in use at the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, at elementary and high school laboratory schools, public elementary schools, centers for children with mental disabilities, kindergartens, Head Start programs, and controlled experimental projects. The boards were also in use in the Newton, Kansas, public schools, and special education classes. The article states that the boards were also in use at the University of Colorado, University of Nebraska, Kansas State College at Pittsburg, Fort Hays Kansas State College, University of California, University of Maryland, and colleges in Missouri and Minnesota. The notes on the back of one of the boards offer a few basic examples and information for parents, suggesting possible home study use.

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Arrangement note

All of collection in oversized file folder located in basement oversize drawer OS 7.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives August 2007

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431
archives@emporia.edu

Processing Information note

Processed by: Shari Scribner and Michael Redmann, August 2007.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

The faculty card file contains information on Dr. Willard O. Stibal’s career at Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. Dr. Stibal’s development of the Modern Math Demonstration Board is described in a Bulletin article in the issue of March 20, 1968. Dr. Stibal’s retirement in 1983 is mentioned in two  Bulletin articles. A photograph of Dr. Stibal using the Modern Math Demonstration Board appears in the 1967  Sunflower, and Dr. Stibal appears in various other photographs relating to the Division of Teacher Education at the Teachers College in other issues of the  Sunflower. The Kellogg Online Catalog of Emporia State University’s William Allen White Library lists which of Dr. Stibal’s publications are available through the Library or the Archives.

Separated Materials note

None.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia -- Faculty.

Personal Name(s)

  • Stibal, Willard Octive, 1915- .

Subject(s)

  • College teachers -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • College teachers -- Minnesota.
  • College teachers -- Montana.
  • Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary) -- Aids and devices.
  • Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Aids and devices.
  • Mathematics -- Study and teaching -- Aids and devices.
  • Teaching -- Aids and devices.

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