With mathematics becoming ever more important in this increasingly technological world, everybody should leave school with an understanding of the fundamentals. Unfortunately, this is not the case with over half of school leavers failing to obtain a pass at National 5 level.
This leads to fewer opportunities for young people and limits the amount of engineers, computer scientists and physicists that Scotland could produce.
Why do so many people struggle with maths?
1. Maths knowledge and ability is cumulative! This means that new maths always builds on top of old maths much like stacking bricks to build a wall. That means even maths learned in Primary school is extremely important and any gaps in knowledge will make learning new maths much more difficult.
2. Pace of lessons is too fast! Teachers only have a limited amount of time to teach the curriculum. For a lot of students, time in the classroom is insufficient for understanding. Learning maths concepts requires enough time for pupils to ‘get’ it. A lot of the time, lessons will move on before everyone has truly grasped what was taught.
3. Not enough time spent doing maths! Doing example questions outside of the classroom is essential for learning. However, a lot of pupils will not do this because they don’t know where to start. It really is a vicious cycle where gaps in knowledge prevent further learning, which then makes the student unable to keep up and then essentially give up!
The good thing is that hope is not lost and this cycle can be broken! A tutor can help identify and fill in the gaps in knowledge to allow the student to progress.