Monday, March 06, 2006

Dumbed Down Maths

The Telegraph reports on several reasons why maths teaching in schools is resulting in dumbing down in the subject. He finds a good solution too.

"At my older son’s school, the top set in maths is disproportionately packed with boys and girls from Asia, mostly Chinese, and some from Singapore and Korea (a situation borne out, at the global level, by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study — Timms). How come? A lot of the British children think the answer is that Asian children are just better at mathematics than we are.

"They are Manchester United or Chelsea to our worthy Conference cloggers. And they are right, not because of any inherent genetic advantage, but simply because in the Far East good young mathematicians are cherished and nurtured and coached in the way good football teams are. In Singapore, for example, the highly fluid and flexible web-based HeyMath system allows you to be as good as you can be".


elderfairy said...

Y'know, I've had my kids in Danish schools for a couple of years now (including Steiner schools) and one of the reasons why we pulled them out is because they simply were not 'learning' anything empowering. They were typical english kids (thirsty and active) until they had the crap beaten out of them educationally here. They could never come to an English classroom even if we wanted them to because they are, and I know these are negative terms, 2 years behind at least.

Quite apart from the normal b****x schools indoctrinate the kids with, in Danish schools (and even more so in Steiner Danish schools) kids are not given help to read and write until they are older than 7. This means that my kids were forcibly held back because the teachers were not able to feed their thirst for knowledge. Much better now we are home educating. We must have been mad to trust the 'system''s a joke all over the world.

Carlotta said...

Yep...Home Ed does seem to be the answer to these problems of personalised learning. The wide variety of learning styles that we see in HE can be fully catered for.

An HEor wrote on one of the lists yesterday that one of her children was a fluent reader at four. The other three couldn't read at all turning nine. By the end of that year they were adult readers, consuming novels, newspapers and journals of various sorts.

Am tempted to lift a bit from the linked article for a tagline.."Home Education - allowing you to be as good as you can be.