What is 7×8? You’ll need confidence to answer correctly

British Prime Minister George Osborne recently refused to answer a simple question about the time table posed to him by 7-year-old Samuel Reddings. Osborne was asked the 7×8 question, but declined, saying he had “made a rule in life not to answer”. As Osborne studied math up to the A-level, it seemed his reluctance leaned more toward confidence than competence. In contrast, it is socially unacceptable for well-educated adults to say openly that they cannot spell. One wonders how the principal would answer a simple spelling question. The use of songs, memorable chants, and tricks is increasingly common in the classroom. Many young people are taught the trick of using their fingers against the board 9 times or reciting verses like “I ate and I ate, so I got sick on the floor” to remember that 8 × 8 = 64. Not enough fingers for that amount. Martin Rickett / PA Wire In the same interview, Osborne admitted to being a fan of US musician Pharrell Williams. But if he had been a fan of the song Steps 5678, he might have felt more confident that 56 = 7 × 8. Such strategies can be helpful when children don’t have the confidence or readiness. developed to understand time tables.

There are limitations to rote learning

In 2012, then-schools minister Nick Gibb stated: “Remembrance timetables should become a fundamental part of primary education for all students.” Some teachers believe that the only way for children to achieve this is to memorize the timeline, often by mimicking their own learning experiences. But rote learning is widely considered classic and boring by the public, meaning that some teachers use rote learning behind closed doors (for example, not when the inspector is around). correct answers in the tests, they may not be able to apply their skills in other contexts. But this has been challenged by the Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who describes two systems: “thinking fast” (system one) and “thinking slowly” (system two). His argument was that the rapid recall of time tables using system one provided the necessary input and conceptual thinking space for the slower and more intensive system two, leading to the use of more efficient cognitive resources. Tables range from processes at one end of the scale to conceptual understanding at the other, with no real consensus of opinion across the education sector on the best methodology. Discussions focused on whether chronological knowledge would be used as a tool for accessing the broader curriculum or as mathematical concepts in their own right. capacity, but very few have a thorough conceptual understanding of how and why DVD players work. This should not be considered a specific problem, as the DVD player is just a tool – a process that achieves the required result when playing a DVD. You can learn the processes initially and then develop an understanding of the concept over time as it becomes more important.

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The computer does it for you

But more and more children in schools are questioning why it’s important to learn timetables when computers and smartphones are readily available. This is a reasonable argument, but the irony is that increasing access to technology makes knowing the timesheet all the more important. Politicians have argued that blindly trusting computer outputs can lead to over-reliance on technology and underdeveloped cognitive instincts. Calculators are currently banned in math exams for most 11-year-olds. Such judgments require confidence, a willingness to take mathematical risks, and the ability to develop conceptual understanding by learning from mistakes. Celebrities, politicians and other role models should lead by example.

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