Today two things related to the 3Rs have caught my eye. The first relates to grammar and a blog post by the indomitable Michael Rosen who argues: Sorry, there’s no such thing as ‘correct grammar’ . This is typical Rosen at his best making a plea for us to think differently about things that people, on the whole, think of as fixed.
The second thing was about Maths. Well … not about maths really I suspect, more about a narrow view of computation with a little bit of worldly applied computation thrown in. The BBC today report that: Poor numeracy ‘blights the economy and ruins lives’
I do confess to being really bothered about this and wonder what actually happens in schools that causes this phenomenon to exhibit itself. But I have a solution. Let the new charity launched to champion better maths skills develop a National Test for numeracy at two levels .. a purely computational juggling level and an ‘applied’ juggling level. These tests could be taken at any time by anyone and would become a National basic qualification. They would be online and ratified (in a way I am not sure of yet) and would simply be part of an ongoing set of things people do to prove they can rather like swimming certificates, driving tests or music grades. If people fail they simply go away, practice more and have another go.
It really is very, very simple. Let’s do it!