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# What's the big deal about times tables? watch

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1. (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
(https://proofwiki.org/wiki/Exponent_...duct_of_Powers)

Yes these normal people refuse to exercise their brains and rely on calculators - where are their problem solving skills?

I also suggested you should look into how people come to recite 1x1 to 1000x1000. Have a look at this: http://thehumancalculator.tumblr.com

Quote:
Okay, what I'm talking about isn't a 'proof' but it shows it very easily and it's easy to understand. Using a^3 * a^4 as an example, a^3= a x a x a, a^4 is a x a x a x a, so a^3 * a^4 = a x a x a x a x a x a x a. There are 7 a's there so the answer is a^7 = a^(3+4). The theory behind it is easy to understand.
2. (Original post by Chlorophile)
Okay, what I'm talking about isn't a 'proof' but it shows it very easily and it's easy to understand. Using a^3 * a^4 as an example, a^3= a x a x a, a^4 is a x a x a x a, so a^3 * a^4 = a x a x a x a x a x a x a. There are 7 a's there so the answer is a^7 = a^(3+4). The theory behind it is easy to understand.
a^(1/3) * a^(-7/11)?
3. (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
a^(1/3) * a^(-7/11)?
Okay, that is a lot more complicated but still, the above example shows the basic principle and shows that it works and I'm sure most people will be reasonable happy to accept those extensions without proof using continuity.
4. Being able to do the numbers on Countdown is one benefit.
5. (Original post by Chlorophile)
Okay, that is a lot more complicated but still, the above example shows the basic principle and shows that it works and I'm sure most people will be reasonable happy to accept those extensions without proof using continuity.
Really? (-1)^1 = [(-1)^(1/2)]*[(-1)^(1/2)]. Trying this sum on your basic secondary school calculator will causes problems for obvious reasons.
6. (Original post by GorlimtheUnhappy)
Really? (-1)^1 = [(-1)^(1/2)]*[(-1)^(1/2)]. Trying this sum on your basic secondary school calculator will causes problems for obvious reasons.
Well actually my secondary school calculator can do that but regardless, you're really thinking of the most niche examples possible. I can't think of any possible reason why an ordinary person with no particularly advanced mathematical training would have to be rooting -1 as part of their every day lives.
7. (Original post by Chlorophile)
Well actually my secondary school calculator can do that but regardless, you're really thinking of the most niche examples possible. I can't think of any possible reason why an ordinary person with no particularly advanced mathematical training would have to be rooting -1 as part of their every day lives.
That took me less than a few seconds think up. "Difficult" kids will try it within the first few minutes of being taught exponent laws, bright kids will recognise it but won't bring it up because they don't won't to appear to be "difficult".

So do you agree your rudimentary explanation is unsatisfactory and that a child basically has to test a few examples and accept it for truth?

Also please have a look at the links I have given you. You might not believe me but you should believe our most talented mathematicians (I think)
8. My job ATM requires a decent amount of number crunching and it's satisfying to be able to do stuff faster in my head than using a calculator. Tbh my mental maths is definitely in the 'good' category, but 12 times table? What's the point? If you know your 10 and 2 times tables and you know how to add two things together why would you ever need 12? If somebody says 7*12 to me, I'm not ashamed to admit my brain just goes '70+14'. And tbh the only reason I know my 9x table is because of playing Snake on my old Nokia at level 9 difficulty and not being particularly good at it...
9. (Original post by Juichiro)
How much easier? Is that difference relevant nowadays? If OP can go through life fine then it seems a bit pointless to tell him that his life would be easier if he knew his tables. I could also tell you that your life would be easier if you knew how to speed-read. But how much easier would it be? Would the difference be relevant for you? The difference of working out information in 0.5 seconds rather than in 0.35 seconds.

P.S. I know my time tables
Umm ... I probably meant MY life would be easier.
10. Time tables are great fun

Maths was my thing in primary school.

Maths, art and design tech

We used to play a game called time bomb, basically a race around a circle for times tables.
11. (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
Time tables are great fun

Maths was my thing in primary school.

Maths, art and design tech

We used to play a game called time bomb, basically a race around a circle for times tables.
We used to play "around the world" where you would have to stand behind the chair of someone and the teacher would call out some questions. You had to go around the class and beat everyone, lol

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12. (Original post by Chlorophile)
The government has now apparently "declared war on illiteracy and innumeracy" by declaring the expectation that all 11 year olds (although another article claims it's 9 year olds, not sure which one it actually is) know up to their 12 times table. I honestly do not understand the point of this. Learning times tables is nothing to do with maths, it's just rote-learning. I left primary school bitterly hating maths because practically all we did was times-table recall, which I was terrible at. Up until this day, I have still not learned my times tables yet it doesn't seem to have done me any harm whatsoever.

So why is there this obsession with times tables? It just seems pointless and counterproductive to me.
Its useful in practical life because everyday we make small calculations. I find this requirement very very easy to fulfill. Most people will know their times tables by the age of 7.

If you had trouble learning your times tables, nothing would have made you like math and rote memorization is useful.

What is law or medicine if not often times rote memorization?
13. (Original post by Dylann)
We used to play "around the world" where you would have to stand behind the chair of someone and the teacher would call out some questions. You had to go around the class and beat everyone, lol

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Yeah that haha

I was unbeatable
14. (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
Yeah that haha

I was unbeatable
Well, you got an A* in A-level maths early, so I'm not surprised :P
15. (Original post by Okorange)
Its useful in practical life because everyday we make small calculations. I find this requirement very very easy to fulfill. Most people will know their times tables by the age of 7.

If you had trouble learning your times tables, nothing would have made you like math and rote memorization is useful.

What is law or medicine if not often times rote memorization?
The fact that you find that requirement easy to fulfil doesn't mean that everyone will and to claim that most people know their times tables by the age of 7 is just factually incorrect. On top of that, to claim that "if you had trouble learning your times tables, nothing would have made you like Maths" is just absolutely absurd. Mathematics has absolutely nothing to do with Arithmetic. I hated learning my times tables (and had a lot of trouble with it and hence didn't learn them) but I'm pretty good at Maths now and enjoy it.

And since when was the purpose of primary school mathematics to prepare people for Law or Medicine degrees?
16. (Original post by Chlorophile)
The fact that you find that requirement easy to fulfil doesn't mean that everyone will and to claim that most people know their times tables by the age of 7 is just factually incorrect. On top of that, to claim that "if you had trouble learning your times tables, nothing would have made you like Maths" is just absolutely absurd. Mathematics has absolutely nothing to do with Arithmetic. I hated learning my times tables (and had a lot of trouble with it and hence didn't learn them) but I'm pretty good at Maths now and enjoy it.

And since when was the purpose of primary school mathematics to prepare people for Law or Medicine degrees?
Its not the primary purpose, but again memorization is important in many fields like medicine and law.

Let me phrase it this way

Just because you had trouble learning your times tables doesn't mean the government shouldn't make everyone learn their times tables by age 11. I think you are in a minority of students, i've never actually heard of anyone having trouble with their times tables.

Its useful in life because we often make calculations in our hand and we don't always have a calculator in hand.
17. (Original post by Okorange)
Its not the primary purpose, but again memorization is important in many fields like medicine and law.

Let me phrase it this way

Just because you had trouble learning your times tables doesn't mean the government shouldn't make everyone learn their times tables by age 11. I think you are in a minority of students, i've never actually heard of anyone having trouble with their times tables.

Its useful in life because we often make calculations in our hand and we don't always have a calculator in hand.
Once again, I'll repeat the points I've already said many times before. Just because it might be useful for the odd occasion doesn't mean that you need to dedicate most of primary school mathematics towards it. It is completely pointless and gives a totally false representation of (and a terrible introduction to) mathematics.
18. (Original post by Chlorophile)
The government has now apparently "declared war on illiteracy and innumeracy" by declaring the expectation that all 11 year olds (although another article claims it's 9 year olds, not sure which one it actually is) know up to their 12 times table. I honestly do not understand the point of this. Learning times tables is nothing to do with maths, it's just rote-learning. I left primary school bitterly hating maths because practically all we did was times-table recall, which I was terrible at. Up until this day, I have still not learned my times tables yet it doesn't seem to have done me any harm whatsoever.

So why is there this obsession with times tables? It just seems pointless and counterproductive to me.
You abhor it because you're not good it. But at the same time, yes, as the workforce evolves and as people innovate how to hire/get hired, people may find that required/valued skills are changing as well. Like I know people who are "professionals" who cannot spell worth a damn and have horrible grammar and aren't good at elementary maths.

Like I had an argument with someone who is employed in an office at a University, what 9*6 is. They swore it was 58. Just...swore it. And I'm 12 at the time saying, "no...no, it's...54." And I know people who can solve math problems in a snap and can't get a job (raises hand ) lmao.

Basically the government wants those statistics so they can be up high on these education rate lists But when you go searching for a job, they look at the skills they only care about that is necessary to do the job. Kinda makes you ask, "why school?"

All the same, being educated is not just about getting work or it helping you. It can just be about proper development so someone can function normally in society. I can't imagine not knowing how to read or count.
19. (Original post by pocahontas lol)
You abhor it because you're not good it. But at the same time, yes, as the workforce evolves and as people innovate how to hire/get hired, people may find that required/valued skills are changing as well. Like I know people who are "professionals" who cannot spell worth a damn and have horrible grammar and aren't good at elementary maths.

Like I had an argument with someone who is employed in an office at a University, what 9*6 is. They swore it was 58. Just...swore it. And I'm 12 at the time saying, "no...no, it's...54." And I know people who can solve math problems in a snap and can't get a job (raises hand ) lmao.

Basically the government wants those statistics so they can be up high on these education rate lists But when you go searching for a job, they look at the skills they only care about that is necessary to do the job. Kinda makes you ask, "why school?"

All the same, being educated is not just about getting work or it helping you. It can just be about proper development so someone can function normally in society. I can't imagine not knowing how to read or count.
That's not at all why I disagree with it, did you even read what I wrote? I am not saying that it's fine for people to be mathematically illiterate. I am saying that I think it is a complete waste of time dedicating everyone's primary school maths education to making them fast at times table recall. I completely understand the convenience of being able to do it quickly. That doesn't mean it's worth alienating a whole hoard of children by cramming random numbers down their throat when they're supposed to be doing mathematics. It's just as bizarre as expecting everyone to memorise a Shakespeare play in English instead of learning how to analyse it. There are very easy methods you can teach children to work out multiplication sums relatively easily in their heads without having to do rote-learning. It's much more intuitive and the result is, possibly, that they're 0.1 seconds slower than someone who has rote-learned them. It's not worth the hassle.

Obviously, if someone is literally incapable of counting, that's a problem. I'm not saying that we don't teach people how to do arithmetic. I'm saying that forcing people to learn their times tables off by heart is not arithmetic and it certainly isn't mathematics, which is what the subject is supposed to be called.
20. (Original post by Chlorophile)
That's not at all why I disagree with it, did you even read what I wrote? I am not saying that it's fine for people to be mathematically illiterate. I am saying that I think it is a complete waste of time dedicating everyone's primary school maths education to making them fast at times table recall. I completely understand the convenience of being able to do it quickly. That doesn't mean it's worth alienating a whole hoard of children by cramming random numbers down their throat when they're supposed to be doing mathematics. It's just as bizarre as expecting everyone to memorise a Shakespeare play in English instead of learning how to analyse it. There are very easy methods you can teach children to work out multiplication sums relatively easily in their heads without having to do rote-learning. It's much more intuitive and the result is, possibly, that they're 0.1 seconds slower than someone who has rote-learned them. It's not worth the hassle.

Obviously, if someone is literally incapable of counting, that's a problem. I'm not saying that we don't teach people how to do arithmetic. I'm saying that forcing people to learn their times tables off by heart is not arithmetic and it certainly isn't mathematics, which is what the subject is supposed to be called.
Why are you being aggressive? And your second sentence makes me ask you the same thing; did you read what I wrote? Where did I say that you said such a thing, and where did I mention it myself?

All I did was rationalize why the government wants children to know something that you should notice I agree can seem pretty useless in the modern workforce.

It seems you got bothered by something I wrote early on and didn't read the whole thing and just posted this long tirade off a fallacy. Based on what I am getting from the rest of your post you are being unnecessarily defensive and have failed to comprehend what my post was even saying.

This is why basic maths is important. Exercise those parts of the brain that contribute to understanding simple and complex things. You should go study, son.

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