Maths Standards: Political Dreams v Practical Reality

    B.B.C. Breakfast Time referred to new research that children possess anxiety when doing maths and that developing understanding is of vital importance in the subject. To describe it as ‘new’ research appears to be misrepresentation. All was being cited was the fundamental finding of the Cockcroft Report 1982 (Available on web), which took five years to research and compile.      

      The findings of Cockcroft Report research was that there was a seven years spread in children’s mathematical attainment across the English speaking countries, which correlates what has since been established about the spread of working memory capacity, and that even intelligent people experience difficulty in the subject. He argued, however much the teaching of the subject is developed, there relative differences would remain.

    Cognitive research suggests that it takes 10,000 hours to develop subject mastery The B.B.C. Wales, “School Swap:South Korean Style” in December 2016 illustrated children spending up to ten hours day ‘sweat shop’ hours on their schooling there, but the Korean Government had created a curfew to protect their children’s health and well-being and they were developing a much broader school curriculum.

      Cockcroft advised that a lower grade maths examination should be created to provide children a sense of achievement, not failure. In pure terms many children will not need to use all the maths they learn in school in their adult lives. The Welsh Government has implemented a basic maths G.C.S.E. The real problem with maths standards is the consequences of political dreams and interference. Maths has and will always remain a difficult subject for many children to learn.

        There is clear evidence in the 1990s that the Westminster Government were not prepared to implement the Cockcroft Report and the Pisa ranking have caused 'knee jerk' concerns about mathematical standards. The quantity of learning does not equal the quality of it.

     Natalie Brundell question a school child stated in a very perceptive letter to the T.E.S. 
what was the point of her needing to memorise a vast number of mathematical formulas for her G.C.S.E.. Common sense suggests that in the work place that a person eould be prudent to check a formula that they were about to use. In practice they will normally use computers or calculators to do complex calculators to do complex calculations, 

After sitting 28 GCSE papers in four weeks. I wonder what is the point of all that? Natalie Blundell (School Girl) - Tes