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October 5, 2011

Metropolitan Mentor Publishes Book on “World’s Oldest Manuscript on Arithmetic”

Gohar Marikyan

Gohar Marikyan, a mentor and convener of SMT at the Metropolitan Center, has published a book, “Anania Shirakatsi’s Tvabanutiun: World’s Oldest Manuscript on Arithmetic.”

In his seventh century manuscript, Anania Shirakatsi describes his own methodology of teaching arithmetic to children. His method does not use any fancy visual aids, it does not require memorization, and it eliminates learning by rote, says Marikyan. Shirakatsi’s method builds strong mathematical long-lasting knowledge.

This method has been successfully used in Armenia for centuries and has proved itself to be very effective. This seventh-century methodology can be adopted and effectively used by elementary school teachers in the twenty-first century diverse classroom environment, she says.

This book can also be useful for parents who wish to help their children master the art of counting and to teach them the fundamentals of mathematics. For those who are interested in the history of education, this book is an excellent introduction to Anania Shirakatsi, the author of the oldest preserved textbook on arithmetic.