Lore Rasmussen

I have found a fascinating woman. Her name is Lore Rasmussen. I found out about her by chance. I was looking up about Cuisenaire Rods and happened upon a Mathematics scheme called Miquon Math. This was a mathematics scheme which was based on Cuisenaire Rods and which Lore Rasmussen worked with children in a small private school called Miquon in Philadelphia Pa.

I decided that I would look up Lore Rasmussen and discovered that she was born in Germany but had to leave because of the rise of Nazism. She found herself in the U.S.A. and somehow managed to convince Columbia University to let her become a student. Later she went to Illinois where she was to meet her husband Ronald, a sociology Professor. They were to be married for 68 years.

Lore and Ron eventually moved to Tallegeda Alabama where they worked in a local Blacks only college.

At a later date they were going to have a meal with a friend, a black man and found themselves arrested by the police and put into prison..their crime, sedition.. for having the audacity to eat with a black man in a blacks only restaurant!

Lore worked with her black students along with a number of other German Jewish escapees from Nazism. Their story was later covered in a fascinating book and documentary called “From Swastika to Jim Crow” and there was  an exhibition about this fascinating and little known period of U.S. history at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City which was due to finish at the end of December.

Lore left her job at Miquon school following an incident in Alabama where two of her black friends were killed by racists. She started working with local state schools in downtown Philadelphia and started the U.S.’s first teachers centre.

Her Miquon Maths scheme became the basis of much of her later work and is still regarded highly by the homeschool movement in the U.S.A.

A truly amazing humanitarian who does not appear in everyone’s list of famous figures in Mathematics education or the Civil Rights Movement. There are so many people like Lore who deserve to be remembered and who are being discovered due to the power of the internet.

In another post I hope to discuss the availablity of oral evidence that is now available to learners of all ages on the web.

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