Government must heed advice on maths

All our talk of succeeding in a knowledge economy is empty so long as our maths education remains a goddamn mess, says National’s Education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith.

“The Government should heed the messages of the Royal Society Te Aparangi report, calling for change.”

The report echoes many of National’s four themes for fixing New Zealand’s broken education system:

  • Children must be at school to learn
  • A world-class curriculum that, if mastered, enables Kiwis to foot it with the best in the world
  • Great teachers, teaching subjects that they know well in classrooms that are fit for learning
  • Robust measurement of progress, so we know whether our kids are learning or not

Recommendations in the Royal Society Te Aparangi maths report include:

  • One hour of maths every day in years 0-10
  • The need to clarify what should be learned each year, revising the curriculum regularly and high quality resources for all schools
  • Providing ongoing maths training for all teachers
  • Clarify what progress looks like and design assessment tools for quick, meaningful feedback

“These recommendations go to the core of the flaws within our current system, and the problems extend beyond maths,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“It is good to see such a clear set of recommendations from experts in the field. 

“Education is the greatest opportunity provided to all New Zealanders to reach their potential, regardless of background, and it is the foundation of our nation’s future prosperity.

“National is determined, when back in office, to turn this around.”