Rote learning in nurseries can harm maths skills for life, MPs find

A new report from MPs has suggested rote learning is causing children to fall behind in maths before they even start school. This is from the TES

In 2014, more than one in four children did not reach the expected level in maths by the time they were 5, according to government statistics.

The report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Maths and Numeracy is calling for more focus on helping preschool children to develop their mathematical thinking by incorporating maths into play.

“There remains a concern that there is much emphasis on ‘counting on’ and rote learning, at the expense of developing early number sense and understanding the meaning of numbers,” the report says…

The maths that under-5s learn has been toughened up in the past two years. Previously children were expected to count up to 10 everyday objects and recognise the numerals 1 to 9 by the age of 5.

But since the early years foundation stage curriculum was revised in 2012, they have been expected to count reliably up to 20; add and subtract two single-digit numbers; and solve doubling, halving and sharing problems.

In 2014, 68 per cent of boys and 77 per cent of girls achieved the expected level in maths at the end of reception year.

But the report stops short of recommending that people working in early years must have a grade C in GCSE maths, saying it is more important that staff have better training in early years maths development…

More at: Rote learning in nurseries can harm maths skills for life, MPs find

 

The report here singles out rote learning but what exactly does that mean in terms of early years maths? Is it a euphemism for bad teaching or is it getting at something in particular? How do you think maths skills can be best developed at this age? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Isn’t the fact that govt have “expected level” of maths attainment for 5yr olds everything that’s wrong with UK education?

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The constant “weighing of the pig” road politicians have driven us down over the last 30 years is depressing & unhelpful

  3. HughdjNicklin

    andylutwyche Went directly from behind the bikesheds to college to politics, so can’t fathom why people should do any job conscientiously.

  4. I thought official schooling was meant to start at 5, so surely there shouldn’t need to be a ‘level’ for these children. I’m sure most parents do simple maths with their pre -schoolers (counting stairs, fruit/veg when shopping, recognising front door numbers etc) but why does it have to become official and pressurised?

  5. I thought official schooling was meant to start at 5, so surely there shouldn’t need to be a ‘level’ for these children. I’m sure most parents do simple maths with their pre -schoolers (counting stairs, fruit/veg when shopping, recognising front door numbers etc) but why does it have to become official and pressurised?

  6. I thought official schooling was meant to start at 5, so surely there shouldn’t need to be a ‘level’ for these children. I’m sure most parents do simple maths with their pre -schoolers (counting stairs, fruit/veg when shopping, recognising front door numbers etc) but why does it have to become official and pressurised?

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