Blogathon 09/24: Teach tech!

Whatever you think of him, our Prime Minister (currently Sunak of the House of Slytherin) has decreed that school pupils must learn mathematics until the age of 18. This is an odd thing. I’m all for some elements of compulsory education, but maths until the age of 18? In the 21st Century?

How about dropping mathematics, because it’s an old – even ancient – subject, and making computing/computer science a mandatory curriculum subject until the age of 18?

There are children out there who have smartphones, who don’t know how they work. Children who don’t understand the infrastructure behind ‘the cloud’, children who can’t comprehend networks, who don’t know what safe computing means, who don’t know about firewalls, antivirus, social data mining, spammers, data security… I could go on, but I don’t think I need to.

Mathematics is a dead skill. Computing is the skill we need to be equipping our children with. Teaching mathematics, when they all have a computer in their hands is about as much use as teaching them Latin. Quod erat demonstrandum.

4 thoughts on “Blogathon 09/24: Teach tech!

  1. I agree.
    But also disagree.

    In these days of computers and calculators and the internet, a strong working knowledge of mathematics isn’t really required. To paraphrase a line from CJ: “I didn’t get where I am today, by knowing how to solve differential equations”.
    And yet, I’ve done OK.
    But I will admit to using both logarithms and Pythagoras (and Binary Notation – as I am sure you have) in both professional and amateur pursuits.

    But also, there is a beauty to mathematics.
    Just look at Rachel Riley.

    1. I’d rather not look at Rachel Riley, her politics are deeply distasteful. But the blessed Carol Vorders though!

  2. Maths until 18? Maybe not. But maths until every student can work out change for a cash purchase? Or until every student can work out the interest on a loan? Or until every student can estimate answers without any tools to hand (phones, reallly)? Hell, yes, please. It’s been slipping in this country for decades.

    And ALSO computer literacy.

    1. Cash purchases? Do they still happen? I can’t remember the last time I used cash. Maybe I need to get out more. Yes, maybe that. 🙂

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