Story of Our Money System, The (1947)

14 Feb
Director  Coronet Instructional Films
Producer  Coronet Instructional Films
Contributors  Harold P. Fawcett
Length  11 Minutes
B&W/Color  Color
UO Library Catalog description:  1 reel, SD, 16mm – Traces the evolution of the unified money system from the ancient practice of bartering to the convenient forms of exchange used today. Illustrates the early use of animals and other mediums of exchange, showing the development of metal coins, the English pound, the pine tree shilling of New England, and the adoption of the dollar unit in America.
Call #  FILM Ma140
Genre  Educational, Documentary
Rare  No
Copyright status  Coronet Instructional Films
Physical condition  Great
Oregon-related  No


Renamed in 1947 to “What Is Money?”.

Coronet Films (also Coronet Instructional Media Inc.) was a producer and distributor of American short social guidance films from 1946 to the early 1970s founded by David A. Smart. The company, whose library is currently owned and distributed by The Phoenix Learning Group, Inc., produced instructional films aimed at young teenagers and high school students which were produced by dozens until the mid-1950s when production tapered off. Social guidance on topics such as dating, family life, courtesy and citizenship were typical themes of the films with occasional educational topics such as the solar system and the human body.

Harold Pascoe Fawcett was born on a farm in Upper Sackville, New Brunswick, July 20, 1894.  He graduated from Mount Allison University in 1914 and began his career as a high school teacher in Fort Fairfield, Maine.  Three years later he enlisted in the United States Army and eventually earned a commission as a second lieutenant.  Fawcett’s intelligence and ability to teach were quickly recognized by the Army, and they made him an interpreter and a trainer of other soldiers.  Among his many distinguished students was Archie Roosevelt, son of President Teddy Roosevelt.  At the end of World War I Fawcett became a US citizen and accepted a position as head of the home study division of YMCA schools in New York.  He earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1924 and began teaching in their extension division.  He completed his Ph.D. at Columbia in 1937.  In the meantime, he had joined the faculty at Ohio State University in 1932, where he rose to full professor in 1943.  Before retiring in 1964, he served as chair of the Department of Education and associate director of the University School.

Fawcett was a member of the NCTM board of directors from 1952-55, and NCTM President from 1958-60.  His best-known publications are the NCTM Thirteenth Yearbook, The Nature of Proof (1938) and The Teaching of Mathematics from Counting to Calculus (1970), co-authored with one of his former students, Kenneth Cummins.  Dr. Fawcett believed that the mathematics classroom should be used to teach students to think, so rather than giving his students a published textbook, he guided the class as they worked to develop their own definitions and propositions.  He was a pioneer in student-centered pedagogy and inquiry learning.  Renewed interest in this approach led NCTM to re-issue The Nature of Proof in 1995.  On November 4, 1950, Dr. Fawcett convened a meeting of  mathematics educators at the Ohio State University Faculty Club to consider the possibility of organizing an Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  There was complete agreement within the group, and the first OCTM meeting was held the following April.  Dr. Fawcett received many accolades and honors during his lifetime, including the Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1961 and an honorary doctorate from Kent State University in 1969.  He died in 1976.

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