Imagine a situation where maths classes are streamed or set for ability and maths is compulsory until year 11
Students who are not good at maths and have little interest and sometimes active dislike for maths are concentrated together into classes where these negative attitudes reinforce each other
Imagine what it is like for a teacher trying to teach maths to these students who are mainly interested in pursuing social conversation
If the teacher insists they do maths then he might get comments like, "Why are you so serious?" or "Chill out". If the teacher persists then the students at that table might do a little maths while the teacher stands over them but other students in the class will break into social conversation. This sort of transaction is repeated over and over.
Imagine if parents or politicians were aware of this situation happening throughout the country in hundreds or thousands of classrooms. I wonder what they would think or say or do.
PS. the late Garth Boomer did some in depth studies of language skills comparing year six and year tens about 20 years ago and found that in many cases the year sixes demonstrated better skills than the year tens - subsequently he gave his famous "slash my wrists" speech to Principals which was then leaked to the press and became front page news
On roses - by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841) Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright He dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint...
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