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Survey Reveals Over Half of Parents Don't Understand Modern Primary School Maths Techniques

by HannahB 1. February 2010 13:18


Division by Chunking, The Grid Method and Number Bonds are just a few of the mathematical techniques which are now a feature of primary school maths, yet in a survey of 1000 UK parents published today, over 50% admitted that they would be unable to explain these to their children.  It shows that there is a worrying gap between the maths parents learnt when they were at school and that which their children are taught in classrooms today.

The survey was commissioned by Random House Group in advance of tomorrow’s publication (07.01.10) of ‘Maths for Mums and Dads,’ by Rob Eastaway and Mike Askew.

A staggering 79% of parents revealed that maths homework frequently leads to conflict and arguments in the household, perhaps explaining why a third of those surveyed admitted that they avoid helping their children with their maths homework.

The survey further revealed that 41% of parents were unable to provide the correct answer to a question that a 10-year-old might be expected to solve in a national test*.

With a third of parents admitting that they struggle with the maths that they no longer use in everyday life, many parents are finding it difficult to support their children in this vital subject. 

Maths plays a central role in the UK curriculum and is, alongside English, one of only two compulsory subjects at GCSE. A sound start to maths in primary school lays the foundations for later success and many parents are anxious to get to grips with their children’s maths studies at this earlier stage; new release ‘Maths for Mums and Dads’ prepares them to tackle this challenge.

Maths for Mums and Dads co-author, Rob Eastaway said: “Our book is designed to take the pain out of maths homework, by explaining the techniques children are now taught at school and by giving parents an insight into why children make mistakes.  We want to inject more enjoyment into maths at home, so that parents no longer dread hearing the phrase ‘can I have some help with my maths homework?’ ”

Maths for Mums and Dads is published in Square Peg hardback on 7 January 2010, priced £9.99

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The views expressed in this Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the East Midlands STEM Partnership, its partners or funders, including East Midlands Development Agency.


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