New Mathematics or New Math was a abbreviated, dramatic change in the way mathematics was learned in American grade schools, and to a lesser extent in European countries, during the 1960s.
New Math underlined mathematical structure through abstract concepts like set theory and number bases other than 10.
Other topics introduced in the New Math include modular arithmetic, algebraic inequalities, matrices, symbolic logic, Boolean algebra, and abstract algebra. Most of these topics (except algebraic inequalities) have been greatly de-emphasized or eliminated since the 1960s.
Parents and teachers who opposed the New Math in the U.S. complained that the new curriculum was too far outside of students' ordinary experience and was not worth taking time away from more traditional topics, such as arithmetic. The material also put new demands on teachers, many of whom were required to teach material they did not fully understand. Parents were concerned that they did not understand what their children were learning and could not help them with their studies.
In the Algebra preface of his book Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell, Professor George F. Simmons wrote that the New Math produced students who had "heard of the commutative law, but did not know the multiplication table."
One Example of New approach:
A "New Math Way" is to not only learn how to accomplish subtraction by regrouping in the normal decimal system, but learn it in base 8 as well.
Base 8: regrouping the eights column means adding eight to the ones column and subtracting one from the eights column
i.e. 342 − 173 = 147.