Is maths really that important?

12th March 2004 at 00:00
Before we make new decisions on teaching maths perhaps we should do some numerical research into how important it really is to national prosperity and individual success.

How many current and prospective jobs need maths, and at what level? How much time do most adults spend using maths, and at what level, in their non-working hours?

How many pupils enjoy maths and are capable of studying it to a high level? How many people were turned off education in general by failing in the subject at school?

After 30 years working in industry and 13 years teaching maths in a large comprehensive school, I believe that maths at the level to which it is currently taught is a waste of time for most pupils and most maths teachers.

Suggested further reading: Why Learn Maths? by John White and Steve Bramall Leslie Duffen Wimstone, Green Lane Ilsington Newton Abbot, Devon

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