I'm told it's Thursday. So I'm off to school

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March 8 - My wife has phoned me to tell me it's Thursday. "So?" I replied. And then realised that means it is parent's evening at school.

I scarper soon as a result - straight there now. 

The relevance? Well, simply that all of school for the offspring in question seems to be about choices and career orientation now, even though there are so few jobs. It makes me a) angry b) determined to create jobs c) frustrated that education isn't seen as being more than about work. It was in my day, I say.

Sure I need people who are vaguely literate and numerate (but primary school maths is way beyond most adults for the good reason that most of it is irrelevant to life - something no one ever says in the papers) and general knowledge, the ability to converse widely and to get out of a mess is often more valuable. And they don't do GCSEs in that.

Gripe over. For now. 

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08th Mar 2012 18:54

Primary school maths?

You are talking of a different era, surely?

I have had applicants for positions in my practice who couldn't multiply by 10 without a calculator, and they had Maths GCSE's! They don't seem to be taught how to spell, either. The current day maths exams must be walkovers!

In my day (giving my age away now) we were taught mental arithmetic and I have lost count of the jobs where it benefitted me, and my employer, to be able to do this. How do they manage in life, never mind work, without these basic skills?

I do think decisions about future careers have to be made too early, but this has always been the situation.

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By Flash Gordon
08th Mar 2012 20:09

Really?!

but primary school maths is way beyond most adults for the good reason that most of it is irrelevant to life

When I went to primary school (slightly more recently than Shirley but not quite as recent as I might kid myself!) maths was times tables and relatively basic stuff. The sort of basic stuff you do use - if I want to buy 8 dvds and they all cost £6 how much will it cost me? Or can I work out how much tonight's chinese takeaway will cost without resorting to a calculator (so that I know when the woman in the takeaway overcharges me - and she's studying ACCA apparently!)? It's totally relevant. Even calculus with the joys of 2x + 3y = 64 etc is still useful (seriously, I still use it) So how can you say it's irrelevant? Yes general knowledge and so on is useful but the things you mention are things that I believe you should pick up naturally and can't be well-taught. I'd rather schools stopped dumbing subjects down and taught kids how to spell properly.

 

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SE_Confused
09th Mar 2012 18:12

Plus ca change...

Flash Gordon wrote:

 Even calculus with the joys of 2x + 3y = 64 etc is still useful

It may be useful, but it's algebra, not calculus!

OT: current primary school maths (at least at the school and age I know about) does emphasise mental arithmetic and problem solving, rather than the Venn diagrams that I learnt and which baffled my parents. So maybe teaching has moved forwards by moving backwards??

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By k743snx
08th Mar 2012 23:22

Eddykayshun

My spelling bugbears are things like "should of", "could of", etc, and "loose" for "lose".

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By Flash Gordon
09th Mar 2012 06:55

Off of

I hate, with a passion, when people use 'off of' as in 'I got off of the train'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But one of my clients (shortly to be ex-clients) used 'loose' instead of 'lose' in a particularly irritating email they sent me yesterday - I'm struggling not to be pedantic and point it out to them!

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
martin craighan
09th Mar 2012 10:29

Of coarse ...

Flash Gordon wrote:

I hate, with a passion, when people use 'off of' as in 'I got off of the train'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But one of my clients (shortly to be ex-clients) used 'loose' instead of 'lose' in a particularly irritating email they sent me yesterday - I'm struggling not to be pedantic and point it out to them!

 

it should of bean "a lit from the train"

:o)

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By neileg
The Highlander
12th Mar 2012 09:47

Not quite

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

it should of bean "a lit from the train"

:o)

Erm... alit is all one word. I outrank you in pedantry!

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Tim Vane
13th Mar 2012 11:20

The biter bit

"Erm... alit is all one word. I outrank you in pedantry!"

The word "all" is redundant in the previous posting. :-)

 

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09th Mar 2012 12:09

Like Pavlov's dog

People saying "centres round" instead of "centres on" or "revolves round" does it for me every time.

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By markwev
09th Mar 2012 19:41

Maths is needed

If your employee uses your cash to buy something but hasn't got enough basic maths skills to work out whether they have the correct change or not, that will give you accounting problems later.

If they haven't got the skills needed to quote a customer some basic pricing without resorting to a calculator, surely that loses you credibility?

If you can't work out your maths in your end or using some paper, how do you check your Excel equations are in the right region?

Surely there is endless need for people to be able to do maths?

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By Old Greying Accountant
10th Mar 2012 21:54

There is a big difference ....

... between mathematics, which I am appalling at, and numeracy at which I am quite good

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By neileg
13th Mar 2012 11:25

Touche

I give in.

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By Old Greying Accountant
13th Mar 2012 14:27

Ah but ...

... is the biter bit a bitter bite?

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