The basics of Maths are the foundation for more difficult Maths. Just like the basics of any skill and understanding – they’re always the foundation of the more difficult skills and understanding.
These days many high school students struggle with even basic Maths and most of the time it’s because they don’t have good basic Maths skills.
They rely on their calculator to do simple Maths and over time they lose their basic number skills. Because of this they struggle with harder Maths. How can they possibly do harder Maths if they’re struggling to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers without a calculator?
I’ve seen it happen many times with my VCE students. They’ve relied on their calculator to do simple Maths calculations for a long time. They have no confidence with numbers. And even when they start to understand the harder VCE Maths concepts they still have that underlying lack of confidence with numbers which slows them down and affects their confidence in Maths.
Once they practice simple arithmetic on an ongoing basis without their calculator, their skills and confidence grow. It’s one part of their Maths that they know they can do. This confidence in one simple area of Maths helps them whenever they need to use it and helps to build confidence in more difficult areas of Maths.