Delusion about Maths Standards - Socpie.uk
"Many holding the position to criticise the capacity of young people have passed through the public elementary schools have experienced some easiness about the condition of arithmetical knowledge and teaching at the present time."
This is was said by Lord Cockcroft 1982 in Mathematics Counts:-
"Few subjects in the school curriculum are as important to
the future of the nation as mathematics; and few have been the subject of more
comment and criticism in recent years."
This referred to Maths Anxiety Society.
On 16th May 2018, KPMG announced a YouGov online poll of 11,012 adults. 37% had felt stressed about everyday tasks involving numeracy and 45% admit to struggling with these tasks.
Cockroft 1982 stated that:
Native language provides a means of communication which is in use all the time and which, for the greater majority of people, comes naturally, even though the command of language needs to be developed and extended in the classroom. Furthermore, mistakes of grammar or spelling do not, in general, render unintelligible the message which is being conveyed. On the other hand, mathematics does not come naturally to most people in the way which is true of native language. Is not constantly being used; it has to be learned and practise: mistakes are of greater consequence.
Research now illustrates that there is distinction between biologically primary and secondary learning. We are evolutionary primed to apply the primary skills. Native oral language is acquired naturally, but reading is not. It is biologically secondary.
Paul Howard Davies explains that the raw roots of maths is natural. Even animals can count a couple of basic numbers.
What is significant about langauge is that once it is basically acquired it can be heard all around them. Speakers cannot turn their ears off when they hear someone having a conversation on a bus, for instance. They cannot fail to read a simple sign that they see.