Solid lesson of concrete methods

26th September 2008 at 01:00

Ofsted does well to look beyond test scores in evaluating a school's success in teaching children ("Maths drilling fails pupils", The TES, September 19). Success in teaching children means giving children the right thing, in the right way, at the right time. Children who are all born with mathematical minds learn through movement and their senses under the age of six, so they need a concrete representation of numbers early on in learning maths. The current curriculum requires children to learn in the abstract before they have developed enough intellect to do so. Ofsted has discovered that using an adult-directed curriculum with such importance placed on children's test-readiness is not working. We find that using a more simple approach works well, one in which children are taught in the concrete first and then, when ready, move on to abstract problem-solving.

Louise Livingston, Director of training, Maria Montessori Institute, London.

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