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Vocabulary: maths 词汇:数学

Calculator ban 计算器禁令

Why shouldn't children use calculators in exams?

The UK government has said that from 2014, it will ban calculators in maths tests for primary school children in England.

All 11-year-olds sit three maths tests. Pupils are allowed to use a calculator in the hardest of these. A sample question is: "Tickets for a school play cost £2.75 each. Dev sold 23 tickets. How much ticket money did Dev collect?"


Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss says children are over-reliant on calculators and that this means they don't have a good grounding in mental arithmetic or written arithmetic. She wants all children to be confident with other methods of addition, subtraction, times tables and division before they start using calculators in secondary school.

Research shows that 98% of pupils in England use calculators in primary school classes, compared with an international average of just 46%. At the same time, different research shows that children have become worse at maths in the past 30 years. Ms Truss believes that children are dependent on calculators and that's making the problem worse.

Some teaching experts argue there's a plus side to using calculators. They say that they are an important tool for maths, which children need to learn to use. Christine Blower of the National Union of Teachers, says the ban "will diminish the skills set for primary pupils" and cause problems when they need to use calculators in secondary school.

Russell Hobby of the National Association of Head Teachers, says the advantage of using calculators is that children can focus on the maths problem itself, rather than the individual calculations needed to solve it.

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