Too much focus placed on maths

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
THE excellent letter from Gordon Moore (TES, February 9) touches on only one reason why maths should not be compulsory beyond the early years of primary school - that most adults rarely use maths beyond this level in their daily routine.

Other reasons often given for the dominance of maths are that individual and national prosperity depend on school success at maths and that you cannot be a good teacher unless you are good at maths. Anyone who believes any of this should look at the evidence: it is all to the contrary. Howeer, there is a more important reason for restricting the amount of compulsory maths. This is that the inevitable failures do harm to the self-esteem of the pupils concerned, more than failures in other subjects, because of the greater importance attached to maths by most adults. I look forward to research that will investigate the part that compulsory maths has played in producing an anti-education culture among pupils and adults.

Leslie Duffen


Green Lane


Newton Abbot, Devon

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