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RIGHT WING THINK-TANK CALLS FOR BACK-TO-BASICS MATHS

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British children are falling behind other European children in mathematics, according to a pamphlet published today...
British children are falling behind other European children in mathematics, according to a pamphlet published today by the Centre for Policy Studies.

John Marks argues in 'Standards of arithmetic' that the teaching of arithmetic in Britain is still imbued with 'progressive' techniques, such as:

-- children do not receive a proper grounding in arithmetic before moving onto mathematics

-- there is little whole-class teaching

-- textbooks encourage children to develop their 'own methods' of making calculations, as opposed to demonstrating the basics of arithmetic

-- calculators are widely used, with logic being abandoned in favour of an experimental or 'investigative' approach

In his recommendations, Dr Marks calls for Ofsted to ensure that all primary school children are taught arithmetic with traditional teaching methods and practices; calculators should be banned; and standardised tests on accuracy introduced and published for each school.

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