Published May 2000,February 2011.
Here are some aspects of numeracy that someone deemed relevant
in yesteryear. How such conclusions were arrived at is now largely
a matter of speculation.
Perhaps many reading this, have had experience of the 'unitary
A battalion, after 5/16 of its whole strength had been disabled
had 748 men left fit for duty. In a week's time 816 men were
reported fit for duty.
By what fraction of its full strength was the battalion still
Could a problem like this be updated and utilised in today's
Similarly, could arguments be found to include 'the double rule
of three' within the new curriculum. Anyway, how powerful a tool is
If 4 women working 10 hours a day for 20 days make 448 yards of
fine lace, how many yards ought 9 women working 8 hours a day make
in 24 days?
Or consider this - 'division in compound proportion':
There are three partners in a business. A puts in
£600 for three months, B puts in £400 for
five months and C £1250 for 2 months. Profits made a
total £708 15s.
How ought they to be divided
Could 'good practice' be built on this?
Or this - in approximations:
A side of a square is represented by 27.02m correct to the
Find the area and state whether it can be trusted to the nearest
It might shed some light on curriculum planning today if we knew
how the curriculum of yesteryear was decided upon. Did the
curriculum planners have criteria which helped them decide what was
in and what was to be left out?
For that matter, perhaps the curriculum planners of today might
like to say how they arrived at the present mathematics
How was the present balance achieved? Who arrived at these
Next month, a final look back on school days and the mathematics
On to Roasting
Chesnuts IV .
For the previous articles, see Roasting Chestnuts and
More Old Chestnuts