Username:  Remember me?
Password:




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: 19 April 2008
Posts: 183
Location: South of Hampshire
I'm not one for quoting articles from the Sun, but I couldn't resist this one

The Sun, 1st February 2010

ALMOST one in five primary school pupils has a private maths tutor, a shocking survey reveals today.
Desperate parents are forking out up to £60 an hour to help children failed by Labour's education system.


Parents say they turn to private tutors because they feel unable to help their kids themselves - with algebra and fractions considered the trickiest skills. As part of the survey, mums and dads were asked to work out three-quarters of £1.28 without using a calculator - but three out of ten got it wrong.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:54 am 
Offline

Joined: 19 July 2008
Posts: 175
Canopus wrote:
ALMOST one in five primary school pupils has a private maths tutor, a shocking survey reveals today.
Desperate parents are forking out up to £60 an hour to help children failed by Labour's education system.


My son thinks the article is sensationalist. There may be truth to it but I can't help wondering if it's really a case of parents being concerned for their children's education rather than a decline in teaching standards in schools. When I attended primary school back in the 1970s few parents seemed to care less about their children's ability in maths so long as they got a reasonably good school report. The quality of maths teaching at my primary school was generally mediocre but that didn't encourage parents to employ private tutors. I remember getting into an argument with a teacher who tried to teach the class that calculations are performed left to right rather than according BIDMAS.

Quote:
[i]Parents say they turn to private tutors because they feel unable to help their kids themselves - with algebra and fractions considered the trickiest skills.


I studied fractions at primary school but not algebra. I'm not sure when primary schools introduced algebra into the curriculum but it was certainly there when my son was in KS2 during the late 1990s.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: 19 April 2008
Posts: 58
Location: Dorset
jencam wrote:
calculations are performed left to right


What exactly is this left to right calculation method?


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: 19 July 2008
Posts: 175
Napier wrote:
What exactly is this left to right calculation method?


Performing a calculation by proceeding from the LHS towards the RHS without any regard to the priority of mathematical operators. An example is 9 + 3 * 5 = 60. This is incorrect as 9 + 3 * 5 = 24 because the multiplication has priority over the addition. If the addition is to have higher priority than the multiplication then brackets have to be used (9 + 3) * 5 =60.

I was taught about the priority of mathematical operators in secondary school but I already knew about them before then. Most other children from my primary school were annoyed that they had to 'unlearn' what they were taught at primary school.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:28 pm 
Offline

Joined: 19 April 2008
Posts: 58
Location: Dorset
I find it incredulous that any primary school teacher could make such a mistake as this even if maths isn't their strong subject. My primary school taught about operator priority when mixed calculations were first encountered.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: 19 April 2008
Posts: 183
Location: South of Hampshire
jencam wrote:
I'm not sure when primary schools introduced algebra into the curriculum but it was certainly there when my son was in KS2 during the late 1990s.


It was probably introduced formally when the primary NC came into operation. I never touched algebra at primary school. The maths course was heavily biased towards calculations involving integers and money and the school operated a strict no calculators policy. I found numerical calculations like how to multiply two 4 figure numbers tedious so took more interest in real maths - like algebra. Several other people have told me they were taught algebra in primary school back in the 1980s so some schools must have been teaching it before the NC.

Napier wrote:
I find it incredulous that any primary school teacher could make such a mistake as this even if maths isn't their strong subject. My primary school taught about operator priority when mixed calculations were first encountered.


I reckon it was quite common for primary schools to erroneously teach mixed calculations from left to right rather than by BIDMAS. I discussed BIDMAS vs calculating from left to right a few years ago on another AS forum and a few other people admitted to being taught to calculate from left to right.

"A Complete O Level Mathematics" by A Greer, that was published in 1976, was the book I used to learn algebra, calculus, and trigonometry whilst at primary school. On the first page of Chapter 1 the sequence of operations is described but the word BIDMAS isn't mentioned. It states:

5 x 8 + 7 = 40 + 7 = 47 (not 5 x 15)

8 / 4 + 9 = 2 + 9 = 11 (not 8 / 13)

5 x 4 - 12 / 3 + 7 = 20 - 4 + 7 = 23

Which demonstrates the priority of operations.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:24 am 
Offline

Joined: 19 July 2008
Posts: 175
Canopus wrote:
I reckon it was quite common for primary schools to erroneously teach mixed calculations from left to right rather than by BIDMAS. I discussed BIDMAS vs calculating from left to right a few years ago on another AS forum and a few other people admitted to being taught to calculate from left to right.


It must be borne in mind that children who attended primary school back in the 1970s relied more on teachers and "in school" produced worksheets rather than published textbooks to convey knowledge. This results in it being easier for a teacher to convey misinformation, and also more difficult for a child to convince a teacher that they are wrong, compared to a school that has textbooks containing the correct information. Textbooks were very rarely used in maths lessons at my primary school and they never had answers in the back meaning that teachers could make up their own answers to fit their theories. There were no exams like SATS to evaluate the teaching quality of primary schools which made it very difficult for a LA to pinpoint instances of bad teaching of certain subjects or teachers conveying misinformation.

I can remember a time when I met a parent of a similar age at an AS support group who was a bit confused with BIDMAS. I had a feeling that she was taught to calculate from left to right but my son intervened at that point and rattled off an explanation of how things should be done.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
 Post subject: Re: Fifth of pupils need a private tutor in maths
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:09 am 
Offline

Joined: 19 April 2008
Posts: 183
Location: South of Hampshire
jencam wrote:
It must be borne in mind that children who attended primary school back in the 1970s relied more on teachers and "in school" produced worksheets rather than published textbooks to convey knowledge. This results in it being easier for a teacher to convey misinformation, and also more difficult for a child to convince a teacher that they are wrong, compared to a school that has textbooks containing the correct information.


That is a very good point you make. It's indicative of the information poor society of just a few decades ago. Sadly human nature has not moved at the same rate as supply of information. Far too many children still believe what they are told by teachers is true and correct.

Quote:
Textbooks were very rarely used in maths lessons at my primary school and they never had answers in the back meaning that teachers could make up their own answers to fit their theories. There were no exams like SATS to evaluate the teaching quality of primary schools which made it very difficult for a LA to pinpoint instances of bad teaching of certain subjects or teachers conveying misinformation.


It was the same at my school. The teachers I had were very insular towards alternative mathematical methods even if they were commonly used or standard practice at higher level. One instance was with adding and subtracting fractions. The teacher insisted that you had to find a common denominator and considered that my method, which involved three multiplications, was stupid when in fact it is the method used to add and subtract algebraic fractions. The teacher could only handle numbers and couldn't do algebra.


Top
 Profile  
 
Share this information
  • Print view this post
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Registered users: Google [Bot]


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron