Mathematics & Numeracy
Maths is a subject which many people have strong memories of from school. It is a subject that divides opinion, to the point where some people love it and others hate it. This is because it relies on a particular set of cognitive skills, including the use of logical procedures, working memory and attention to detail.
At its most basic level, mathematics is a useful skill in everyday life, but many people are left wondering why they should learn about things like trigonometry and equations. The truth is that a lack of mathematical skills can create barriers in other areas of learning. However, the problem with learning maths at a young age is that it isn’t a particularly useful skill until reaching adulthood. Many learners become demotivated and can even develop a lifelong resentment towards the subject.
Mathematics is a subject that divides people into those who “get it”, and those who don’t. We believe that this is largely due to people being left behind. Students are expected to progress at the same pace as their peer group and this causes problems because even elementary skills rely upon mastery of the basics. When maths education moves too quickly for an individual, they can become demotivated, frustrated and unable to catch up. At a minimum this may simply prevent someone from working in a job that requires these skills, but it also presents barriers in other areas. For example, when someone reaches university and struggles with a statistics module, when they need to use spread sheets at work, or when they have difficulty organising finances, taking care of taxes or managing a business.
There are many jobs where being able to work with figures is an advantage. There are also a number of specialist fields where mathematical or logical ways of thinking are essential, and can even be applied creatively. Numeracy is an essential skill, which requires motivation and concentration. People need to be able to move at their own pace and learn in a way that suits their strengths.
Our aim is to develop an interactive application and educational program that does not leave anyone behind. It will keep learners motivated by presenting complicated tasks in the simplest way possible, by breaking them into manageable chunks and rewarding people for the progress they make. This will be achieved by creating an application that learns from its users and present problems that are just challenging enough to keep people moving forwards.