Delusion about Maths Standards -  

         This was said in 1878:-

"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.

         Maths is language. It creates a form of precise thinking. Maths is essentially a set of tricks.

         The old adage unless you use it you will lose it applies to language and maths.  If somone learners to play chess they will develop fluency in that skill and if they stop playing it, their fluency will decline. If children want or need to obtain a G.C.S.E. in maths, then they will need to play a lot of maths before they take their examination.

         It known that working memory has a profound influence on children maths capability and that 33% of children will always find learning more difficult that others. It is predictable that that 33% of children will be more inclined to be apprehensive about maths when they become adults. No one enjoys struggling to learn.

        Cockcroft commission research that illustrates that there is a seven year spread in mathematic attainment. It reflects the bell shaped standard distribution curve. This reflects the spread of working memory. This means that half of the population will always be below average in maths. 33% will always have difficulty in learning and apply it.

      There is an obsession with maths in the Far East where they engage in binge learning. Working memory will dictate their maths learning potential. Cockcroft advised that examinations should be created for the less able in maths to give them a concept of accomplished not failure.