A justification of the time occupied by mathematics in secondary education is contained in an article on "Mathematics and Efficiency" by Robert E. Moritz, professor of mathematics at the University of Washington, which has just been published.
"The mere knowledge of the Pythagorean triangle relation or the binomial theorem is probably of less immediate value to the average graduate than the knowledge of how to sharpen a knife or to sew on a button," Dr. Moritz writes. "But has an exercise in fundamental thought processes they are invaluable to every individual, no matter what his ultimate work in life may happen to be."
Dr. Moritz holds that those powers of the mind which are most generally conceded to be developed by the pursuit of mathematics are:
1. The power of undivided attention and prolonged concentration.
2. The power of exact definition, of clear statement, and of critical analysis.
3. The power of deductive reasoning, of drawing logical conclusions from given premises.
He devotes some space to unseating the scholars who have contended that mathematics has not part in developing powers of observation, comparison, memory, induction, generalization and imagination.