Old times

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The Independent Online

The monotonous, but oddly reassuring, chorus of children reciting their times tables in the nation's classrooms is receding into the distance. It is being replaced by a frantic tapping as today's children use calculators to learn multiplication. According to Sylvia Steel of the University of London this is making children less adept at maths. She recommends a return to the days of learning by rote. We're willing to go along with this so long as they also bring back slide rules, blackboards, chalk, wooden desks, mortar boards and short trousers. If you're going to do "old school", there can be no half measures.

The monotonous, but oddly reassuring, chorus of children reciting their times tables in the nation's classrooms is receding into the distance. It is being replaced by a frantic tapping as today's children use calculators to learn multiplication. According to Sylvia Steel of the University of London this is making children less adept at maths. She recommends a return to the days of learning by rote. We're willing to go along with this so long as they also bring back slide rules, blackboards, chalk, wooden desks, mortar boards and short trousers. If you're going to do "old school", there can be no half measures.

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