• Question: How can younger children be encouraged to take an interest in maths?

    Asked by EvieW on 26 Nov 2020.
    • Photo: Francesca Iezzi

      Francesca Iezzi answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      I think there is no unique answer, but it depends on the young person. Each of us has got a different taste and a different way of learning.
      When I was young I was very intrigued by problem solving, and that is what got me into Maths.
      Some young people may like strategy games, such as chest, and may be attracted by the idea of Maths helping you to think strategically.
      Other young people may appreciate more seeing how maths can be applied to the real world. Hence showing applications of Maths may help them develop a passion for Maths.
      Others may like looking at shapes and patterns… hence by geometry.
      I think overall, the important thing is that we show our passion for maths, and we show that maths is not a dry and mechanic subject, but, on the contrary includes a huge variety of subfields, and every person can find a part of maths they like.

    • Photo: Cesare Giulio Ardito

      Cesare Giulio Ardito answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      You need to make sure that they are exposed to good mathematical content, and that they have the means and the freedom to choose to explore further, should they desire to do so. Basically… just like everything else!

    • Photo: Freya Addison

      Freya Addison answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      As with most things, it’s finding a part of maths you enjoy. Being comfortable with numbers helps, and there are a lot of games that can do that, for example card games, rummikub, dominos.

    • Photo: Chris Budd

      Chris Budd answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      In my experience younger children at primary school love maths. Things start to go wrong at secondary school. This is why we have a national programme of Maths Masterclasses which are free classes for 13 year olds. These are designed to enrich the mathematical experience of the young people that come, and to encourage them to work together in teams. This way they see that maths is fun, maths is useful, and maths is a people based activity.

    • Photo: Alan Walker

      Alan Walker answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      Make it fun, make it enjoyable, and make it surprising!

    • Photo: Sophie Carr

      Sophie Carr answered on 26 Nov 2020:

      There’s no easy answer to this, but I’d say developing a love of puzzles. Maths is all about solving puzzles in lots of different ways!