Wednesday 4 January 2023

Maths post 16 years old


So Rishi Sunak thinks that maths should be taught to all young people up to the age of 18. Now I do have an O'level in Maths, plus one in Additional Maths, an A'Level in Maths, plus as part of my Economics degree did guide a lot of maths/statistics. So I would say I know a fair amount about the type of maths that is taught after the age of 16 as in some form or other I was being taught maths up until the age of 22. My late father also had a degree in maths.

I have laid out my maths qualifications here to show the level of expertise I have on the issue of maths. I know that some out there in this post expertise required age will argue that I don't know what I'm talking about, but thats the nature of knowledge these days.

On top of this I have 2 nephews both post 16 years old and a niece currently in secondary education. Each of them have different experience of maths through their schooling as well. So with all the agrued experience within our family is maths really something that needs to be taught to everyone after the age of 16.

Most of the maths that most careers need for every day use is that which is taught up to the age of 16. Additional maths, A'level and anything you are taught at university are more specialised for the decipline you are studying or more complex maths. If you go into a career that works with numbers yes you will need to know the principles behind many of the more complex maths, especially when you have to set up a spreadsheet or a data base programme that needs to calculate something. Excel or other programmes may be good but the better the maths of the person working it the more complex the functionality can become. For this I also worked as a global data analyst for a call centre with all sorts of contingency built in, some of our worksheets will still be funtional long after we are gone, for example, working out set public holidays (Easter is a little more awkward).

My nephew are a mixture one is science base the other more artistic. Both were good at maths, both got decent result in their GCSE but both knew the path they wanted to travel. For one maths fitted into the sciences for the other it didn't fit in. Does that decision make one of them less useful going into adulthood? No! As for my neice she struggles with maths, something that I know a lot of people do, these are probably the proportion of people that the Prime Minister wants to educate more in maths.

So while I can do matrix algebra, complex statistical equaltions with x constants and other stuff that would blow your mind this isn't going to help your hairdresser, car mechanic, beautician or bricklayer. They all just want to do a BTEC after the age of 16.

Post 16 education needs to remain a mix of academic split into sciences and humanities, and vocational. The vocataional courses will include what maths is required within those professions but that maths isn't what is stardardly taught at 16 year. No young person over the age of 16 should be enslved into the level of maths that someone Winchester educated, with an Oxford First in PPE and Fulbright Scholar who went on to become an investment banker before turning to politics thinks helped him. This is how out of touch with ordinary people, ordinary work and day to day life the richest Prime Minister in our nations history is.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the quality education he got at Winchester should be in all schools.That would be worth achieving.