Civilisations are built on it

16th May 2003 at 01:00
IT was with mounting dismay that I read Peter Wilby's article, particularly as it echoes popular opinion about maths and its relevance in our society.

However, I strongly feel that the problem is in the way it is taught.

Mathematics, properly taught, not only teaches basic numeracy and interpretation of statistics it also fosters the development of logical, concise arguments, teamwork, communication skills and problem solving, all of which are life skills. It is also a very creative subject.

The civilisations in which maths formed a central philosophical part, such as ancient Greece, Arabia, Egypt and Babylon, were the most creative and innovative societies.

Unfortunately, a modern stumbling block is the way in which mathematical understanding is assessed. We need to see radical changes: coursework elements need to be more meaningful to teenagers and exams need to echo the importance of problem-solving skills rather than being a memory test.

Catherine Scarlett 2 Ratten Row Driffield, East Yorkshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now