Learn from the past with new maths curriculum

A maths campaign group has attacked the new primary maths curriculum proposed for 2014 as undeliverable
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/education-19217813
Improving numeracy in the young is clearly a concept to be applauded. At least the government is trying to move forward by actively attempting to improve standards. Timestables and learning by rote will always be moot points; this type of learning will always be more beneficial to some than others. We need a balanced approach; looking at other country’s records and methods is just one way of approaching the issue. National Numeracy might feel that looking into our relatively recent educational past is a step backwards – would they argue that standards of mathematical understanding in an average sixteen year old are higher in 2012 than in (say) 1982? I think not. Perhaps we should consider past methods and learn from them? We do need to move forward but not everything that has gone before carries less credence in the present – surely that is what history teaches us.
As the article states, “National Numeracy was founded earlier this year with the intention of improving mathematical skills and attitudes to maths among the general public.” The founders and members are clearly people whose opinions are worth listening to but perhaps it is a little early for this kind of cage rattling?
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