How has the way our children learn mathematics changed over the years?

“In today’s world, where our Cartesian-based sciences and technologies play such a huge role in our lives and our societal structures, it is just as important to make people aware of the inherent limitations of mathematics as of its powers. Mathematics is like fire. We need its power to live. But it can also be unbelievably destructive and must always be treated with immense respect.”

Keith Devlin – Executive Director of Stanford University’s Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute

The different ways of teaching maths has come a very long way over the years, however, what we learn is essentially still very similar. These days, children are being encouraged to understand what they are learning before putting it into practice. Here are some of the biggest changes we’ve observed in how our children learn maths:

Higher academic standards

Students are now required to develop a further understanding of what they are learning as well as meeting certain benchmarks at a younger age. Going to college or university after leaving High School is increasing with nearly 50% of young people going into higher education in 2017. Most of these courses require a solid understanding of maths.

Saying goodbye to rote learning

Many of us may remember memorising maths formula after maths formula until we knew it perfectly. Today however, more emphasis is put into the understanding of why it’s being done. Students are expected to know and understand the concepts behind the maths too.

Introduction of technology

Technology used to be a novelty in a classroom but now it sits in the spotlight. Growing up surrounded by technology leads to the expectation that technology will be incorporated in all aspects of life. A quick scroll through the app store will show many maths games, puzzles and apps which means that a child can always be learning. Most classrooms also now utilise interactive whiteboards so learning is more interactive.

Link between researchers and educators

Over recent years, both researchers and educators have been working together to shape maths education in a way that will encourage and engage children. This also means that teachers are more involved in what content is best for their class.

Everyone can be good at maths

Teachers have been working extremely hard to transform the way in which maths is perceived by students. Children are now encouraged to embrace the learning of this great subject and not to be afraid of its potential complexity. Teachers believe that when a child approaches a subject with confidence, they are more likely to succeed at it.

Have you seen any changes in the way your children are learning maths?

We’d love you to share your thoughts with us.

You can also check out one of our previous blog posts on how you can make learning maths more fun!

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