Rod Judkins M.A., RCA

Connect to Creativity

Why Teaching Math in Schools Is Counterproductive

Research proved that teaching math to early grades in schools was pointless

Posted Dec 09, 2014

Fear of maths

Benezet specified that early grades spent the time they would normally spend on math to chatting about interesting things, movies, TV programmes or anything that created an animated debate. He believed this would increase children’s ability to think logically.

The Manchester children were tested on their math proficiency during the sixth grade. Those in the experimental classes in math caught up with those in the standard classes.

Back in the 1930’s Benezet proved that children who had only one year of math, in sixth grade, performed as well or better at math than children who had several years of math teaching in the early grades. Research since then has supported these results. Governments have learnt little though.

Many years ago the government in England were disappointed by math results. They doubled the amount of the school day spent on math (and cut time spent on arts subjects). Math results continued to drop. So they increased the time again. Results continued to drop. And so it went on and on. The only result was that they increased the level of boredom in children. They also had to cut down the amount of time spent on the subjects that children enjoyed. This attitude is echoed across the Western world.

Why is there such a bias towards math in schools? The answer is that math is easy to assess. Tests can clearly show a students ability. Whereas ability in creative subjects is harder to assess.

Rod Judkins MA RCA is an artist, writer, and professional public speaker, delivering lectures and workshops that explain the creative process and help individuals and businesses to be more inspired in their lives and work. He is author of the bestseller, Change Your Mind: 57 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self.

Change Your Mind: 57 Ways to Unlock Your Creative Self