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The education ministry is concerned at the falling aptitude of high school students for mathematics. Is this a big problem and what can be done about it?

14 Comments

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Yes. Try not making schools have to rush through the syllabus because they're working to some exam deadline. Because that's not teaching, that's just bureaucracy. Have teachers teach, and reteach, and review, and practice - so that the students actually know what they're learning and why it's useful in the modern world. Stream classes according to ability rather than chuck them all in together trying not to offend any parents. I got lost at the age of about 8, with decimal points. It sounds amusing, but it led to a school education's-worth of not understanding and disliking math, just because a teacher didn't have the time or patience to deal with a decimal-pointedly-challenged kid!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes! Math is necessary for carpenters, engineers, bakers (cooking is an art, baking is a science) and Japan is known for mindblowingly precise works so if students are not math savvy, the future is dismal. Better bring back the abacus!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yes, it might be a problem. What can be done? replace manga with maths, so simple !

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, it is an extremely severe problem. In Germany, cases where students of medical sciences or economoy fail at math problems on the middle school level are famous among the scientists who have to teach them. Not to mention the biology students who are not even capable of solving the most simple equations for (8th-10th graders). No capabilities in math means that a person cannot fill out a job with higher responsibility. On the other hand, this same person will believe any nonsense she is told about a genesis in 5000 years, changes in the tax system (like lower tax always means higher revenue independent of the actual level) or the safety and cheapness of nuclear plants, because she can't understand the fake proofs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My own math knowledge and understanding stopped expanding after say, multiplications? And I have successfully (in my own opinion) reached adulthood. Different people will need different skills in their lives. For some it will be English, for others math, for other P.E. If the kids can't reach the standards, is it the problem with the kids, the teachers, or maybe the standards?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Math? some of the workers at the Daiichi plant do not even know how to read. They had some else fill out their forms for them. I was just reading an article about this and Reading comprehension could be the problem with the math too.

http://enenews.com/top-tokyo-doctor-dealing-with-nuclear-workers-demands-govt-step-in-at-fukushima-plant-for-safety-reasons

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Teaching the Japanese to 'think' would lead their society to become more individualistic and archaic. TPTB don't want this ,,,,,,,,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Before commenting, is mathematics the only subject that is falling? If it is, and arts, or cultural sciences (i.e. history) are going up, then it may not all be bad. Yes, mathematics is important, but I am not the best at language while being top-in-class in math and science (college level). I have friends who are the opposite and thus in a society balance out. I guess my true question should be, is this applying to every student in Japan, or is this a 1-in-20 are failing math right now when it used to be 1-in-100? As well as how are the other subjects fairing?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lots of things are redundant. Do not study anything that can be found on your computer and the net.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mathematics should be studied by everyone, especially very useful is statistics and probability, it helps humans as an illogical beings to make a logical decisions based on data and facts and not on emotions and gut feelings. What is the probability that your son got into trouble and someone on the phone claiming to be a doctor asked you to transfer money to a bank account ? Statistics showed that you are probably being scammed. How about the probability that a Nigerian prince who lost his crown and want to go out of the country with millions of dollars, but can't afford an airplane ticket ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese students are already the best in the world, but there is room for to improving!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Top five countries according to PISA: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading

South Korea

Finland

Canada

New Zealand

Japan

Japan was fifth in reading, fourth in math, and first in science. Perhaps they should concentrate on reading skills, too. Poland improved their reading skills from 'below average' to 'above average' in six years by increasing the number of hours in language skills classes from one hour a week to four hours a week.

They also increased teacher salaries, decreased class size, and added requirements to become teachers (more education, more experience).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Alright!! Finally, someone else is failing at math. This has been an educational cry for years in the States. All we hear is how our students are so far behind the rest of the world in math and science. New programs come and go, but it doesn't seem to improve our standing. Math is one of those things you either have a talent for, or you don't. Not to say everyone can't learn it, but as for choosing a career that is based on math skills, those who have an innate math sense are more likely to go that direction than others. Same as anything else. Otherwise we'd all be accountants and rocket scientists.

I'm all for "leveling" math classes based on skill levels. Higher achieving students grouped with other high achievers. Different levels would be able to focus on skills that they need, making a teacher's job more focused.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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