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ERIC Number: EJ776573
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
"Back to Basics" or "Forward to Basics"?
Perso, Thelma
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v63 n3 p6-11 2007
Politicians have used the promise of "back to basics in our schools" as an educational platform for some time now, possibly in recognition that this is something the general population perceives as an issue they might just vote for. In the various positions the author has held, both professional and in community service, she has been required to respond to ministerial correspondence, questions on notice in parliament, questions by the media and policy positions on issues such as the following: (1) When are children taught long division?; (2) Why aren't children taught long division anymore?; (3) Why can't our children work with fractions?; and (4) Why do children need a calculator to work things out when we were taught to do them in our heads? For voters to ask these questions of their members of parliament and for them subsequently to make headlines in newspapers, these questions clearly strike a chord with many members of the voting public. In this article, the author discusses this phenomenon from her perspective as a public servant and from a broader perspective as a mathematics educator and teacher. It is not her intention to provide definitive answers, but merely to raise awareness, explore the topic, and make suggestions for solutions in the hope that teachers and educators can gain a better understanding of the issues and why they are issues. Thus they might be able to provide informed responses to the community and parents when the issues are raised. (Contains 2 notes.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide,5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia