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    (Original post by Clip)
    Both EU. Nothing stopping you.
    Well, there's the language. I'm trying to learn Swedish but it is not easy, particularly as someone who isn't a natural linguist.
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    I'm not a particularly great mathematician but all of my better peers have learned their time tables. Similarly most reading something science related also learned their timetables. Even a few doing humanities have learned their TT. Rote-learning is an integral foundation for all keen mathematicians and contrary to popular belief can give an insight into number theory for example spotting "Casting out nines".

    Often learning TT is compared to learning the periodic table. This comparison is unfounded. One is about factual recall and the other is about giving you set of skills to approach more interesting, difficult questions. Without TT, how are you supposed to do long multiplication? You might argue long multiplication is useless but that too is a skill. Even learning the periodic table has some merits if you're a keen linguist.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Well, there's the language. I'm trying to learn Swedish but it is not easy, particularly as someone who isn't a natural linguist.
    Erasmus yourself over there
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    (Original post by Clip)
    Erasmus yourself over there
    I'd still have to actually learn the language. I might have the opportunity as a PhD student or research scientist but even then, as much as I'd like to go there, I honestly think I'm too lazy to make the transition to a totally new country.

    (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
    I'm not a particularly great mathematician but all of my better peers have learned their time tables. Similarly most reading something science related also learned their timetables. Even a few doing humanities have learned their TT. Rote-learning is an integral foundation for all keen mathematicians and contrary to popular belief can give an insight into number theory for example spotting "Casting out nines".

    Often learning TT is compared to learning the periodic table. This comparison is unfounded. One is about factual recall and the other is about giving you set of skills to approach more interesting, difficult questions. Without TT, how are you supposed to do long multiplication? You might argue long multiplication is useless but that too is a skill. Even learning the periodic table has some merits if you're a keen linguist.
    We actually did a poll in our top set Further Maths class and most of the people who were doing the best hadn't learned their times tables. Now obviously there's a difference between doing well in Further Maths and being a great pure Mathematician but I honestly don't know how you can claim that rote-learning is at the heart of mathematics. Mathematics is probably the subject where that's least important, you could derive practically everything from a small handful of basic principles if you really wanted to.
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    I only learned up to my 11 times tables. Am I innumerate?
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    I don't know why its in the news as it's always been in the primary curriculum! Maybe it's an upcoming election ...
    It's in the news as the Education Secretary is threatening school leaders, Governors, teachers, parents and children. Any Headteacher who fails to deliver a 100% pass rate on the multiplication table tests will be sacked and their Primary School turned into an Academy. Quite a big deal isn't it?
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    Mr M, they are always threatening teachers - so, as I said, nothing new!

    They've forced schools to become Academies - even when they were improving. They're changing A levels, which universities and many teachers aren't in favour of ...

    These tests have been out in draft for a while ....
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I



    We actually did a poll in our top set Further Maths class and most of the people who were doing the best hadn't learned their times tables. Now obviously there's a difference between doing well in Further Maths and being a great pure Mathematician but I honestly don't know how you can claim that rote-learning is at the heart of mathematics. Mathematics is probably the subject where that's least important, you could derive practically everything from a small handful of basic principles if you really wanted to.
    Like I said, contrary to popular belief, Maths starts out as rote-learning/pattern recognition. Being top at your FM set is no doubt very good but my peers who are reading Maths at Oxbridge and have wanted to read Maths at Oxbridge since a very young age all started off with rote-learning. In fact by your assertion, Maths isn't about deriving anything at all but finding the most efficient set of axioms. What's the point of deriving anything if a derivation is just a particular arrangement of a collection of axioms rather like what's the point of knowing 48 when it is just 6x8 or 12x4 or 24x2
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    (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
    Like I said, contrary to popular belief, Maths starts out as rote-learning/pattern recognition. Being top at your FM set is no doubt very good but my peers who are reading Maths at Oxbridge and have wanted to read Maths at Oxbridge since a very young age all started off with rote-learning. In fact by your assertion, Maths isn't about deriving anything at all but finding the most efficient set of axioms. What's the point of deriving anything if a derivation is just a particular arrangement of a collection of axioms rather like what's the point of knowing 48 when it is just 6x8 or 12x4 or 24x2
    You can't seriously be claiming though that learning your times tables improves your understanding of fundamental axioms though... Anyone can rote-learn easily once they're older, there's absolutely no reason why your primary school education should be devoted to it.
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    (Original post by Muttley79)
    These tests have been out in draft for a while ....
    No they haven't.
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    They have Mr M - I've seen them.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...and-commentary

    Here's some examples ...
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    You can't seriously be claiming though that learning your times tables improves your understanding of fundamental axioms though... Anyone can rote-learn easily once they're older, there's absolutely no reason why your primary school education should be devoted to it.
    It is no co-incidence that top students who have followed up on their genuine interest in Maths started off by rote-learning. Those students who excel at their chosen discipline have excelled at what they have done since primary school. I'm not saying it isn't possible for someone to discover they have an interest in Maths at the age of 16 but the most talented Mathematicians - for example those participating in the IMO weren't necessarily born with a talent for Maths but rather have extremely developed problem solving skills that grew as a result of practise which started off from learning their time tables.
    Name me 1 Fields Medalist who cannot recite their TT. Some (probably most) children don't have an intellectual interest in Maths for eg. at the age 8 but rote-learning gives a helpful push in the right direction. Children don't want to learn their TT because they're lazy and think it is boring but once they find that they excel at it and in fact execute it better than their peers, they suddenly find themselves enjoying mundane secondary-school Maths a little more allowing them to excel and get ahead of the curriculum giving them more time to discover more "interesting" Maths - besides at the end of the day, what is so interesting about fundamental axioms? You "learn" them and then what?
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    (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
    It is no co-incidence that top students who have followed up on their genuine interest in Maths started off by rote-learning. Those students who excel at their chosen discipline have excelled at what they have done since primary school. I'm not saying it isn't possible for someone to discover they have an interest in Maths at the age of 16 but the most talented Mathematicians - for example those participating in the IMO weren't necessarily born with a talent for Maths but rather have extremely developed problem solving skills that grew as a result of practise which started off from learning their time tables.
    Name me 1 Fields Medalist who cannot recite their TT. Some (probably most) children don't have an intellectual interest in Maths for eg. at the age 8 but rote-learning gives a helpful push in the right direction. Children don't want to learn their TT because they're lazy and think it is boring but once they find that they excel at it and in fact execute it better than their peers, they suddenly find themselves enjoying mundane secondary-school Maths a little more allowing them to excel and get ahead of the curriculum giving them more time to discover more "interesting" Maths - besides at the end of the day, what is so interesting about fundamental axioms? You "learn" them and then what?
    I'm sorry but what you're saying just sounds like nonsense to me. Problem solving skills are improved via practise and engagement, the polar opposite of monotonous rote-learning. It's probably true that most high-level mathematicians have learned their times tables but that's because most people were forced to, not because it in any way makes you a better mathematician.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    I'm sorry but what you're saying just sounds like nonsense to me. Problem solving skills are improved via practise and engagement, the polar opposite of monotonous rote-learning. It's probably true that most high-level mathematicians have learned their times tables but that's because most people were forced to, not because it in any way makes you a better mathematician.
    Your welcome to your opinion (drivel) but I won't lose any sleep over it since you're no authority on the matter. I'll stick to listening to Field Medalists and world renowned mathematical minds. Please do let me know when Sweden has a top notch mathematical establishment and please do notify me when the next generation of Swedish youth takes the mathematical world by storm (which clearly should be happening already due to their superior education system)
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    (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
    Your welcome to your opinion (drivel) but I won't lose any sleep over it since you're no authority on the matter. I'll stick to listening to Field Medalists and world renowned mathematical minds. Please do let me know when Sweden has a top notch mathematical establishment and please do notify me when the next generation of Swedish youth takes the mathematical world by storm (which clearly should be happening already due to their superior education system)
    Can you actually find me a quote by a renown mathematician that rote-learning is more important than developing problem-solving skills?
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Can you actually find me a quote by a renown mathematician that rote-learning is more important than developing problem-solving skills?
    Why on worth would I do that?
    *earth
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    (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
    Why on worth would I do that?
    *earth
    Because you're claiming that "Field Medallists and world renown mathematical minds" are saying that rote-learning is an incredibly important part of mathematics but you've not given any actual evidence that this is true.
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    Because you're claiming that "Field Medallists and world renown mathematical minds" are saying that rote-learning is an incredibly important part of mathematics but you've not given any actual evidence that this is true.
    I never said that. Please re-read what I wrote.

    To summarise: Rote-learning provides an important foundation
    With regards to world renowned mathematics, please look at: http://tonysmaths.blogspot.co.uk/201...d-penrose.html
    I was at that LMS lecture in question. For written literature, the popular "A Mathematician's Apology" is one example of a literary text although you'll also find an account that portrays your idealistic view.

    Have a look at the JMO from last year. How many questions would an 11 year old who relied solely on his calculator be able to do?
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    (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
    I never said that. Please re-read what I wrote.

    To summarise: Rote-learning provides an important foundation
    With regards to world renowned mathematics, please look at: http://tonysmaths.blogspot.co.uk/201...d-penrose.html
    I was at that LMS lecture in question. For written literature, the popular "A Mathematician's Apology" is one example of a literary text although you'll also find an account that portrays your idealistic view.

    Have a look at the JMO from last year. How many questions would an 11 year old who relied solely on his calculator be able to do?
    The fact that you're saying that suggests that you don't understand what I'm saying. The difference between an 11 year old who would succeed at the JMO and an 11 year old that wouldn't is not rote-learning. It's an incredible amount of practise and a high level of mathematical maturity (plus, probably, some innate factors). Of course an ordinary 11 year old wouldn't have much of a chance at the JMO but that's because they're mathematically immature and do not have particularly sophisticated problem solving skills, not because they've not done enough rote-learning grinding?
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    (Original post by Chlorophile)
    The fact that you're saying that suggests that you don't understand what I'm saying. The difference between an 11 year old who would succeed at the JMO and an 11 year old that wouldn't is not rote-learning. It's an incredible amount of practise and a high level of mathematical maturity (plus, probably, some innate factors). Of course an ordinary 11 year old wouldn't have much of a chance at the JMO but that's because they're mathematically immature and do not have particularly sophisticated problem solving skills, not because they've not done enough rote-learning grinding?
    Did you even look at the paper? This is definitely approachable - considering it was designed for 11 year olds who have had no exposure to this type of Maths before which shows you know nothing about problem-solvin.g Though I shouldn't be surprised considering you misquoted me and even ignored the proof I did provide. Who cares what Tim Gowers says!? I dread that day in 50 years when I look back at my life and see how the Swedes have dominated all areas of academia and industry and think, damn why did I ever listen to Tim Gowers.. Chlorophile was right.
 
 
 
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