Realistic calculations: ideal calculation form or loss of quality?
Realistic arithmetic is called story arithmetic. The assignment for the child has been processed in a situation in which it can identify itself. It is expected that the student will arrive at a solution through a self-chosen strategy. Criticism; Arithmetic becomes language, language-weak children do not learn arithmetic. There is a large difference in level between primary and secondary education. Pupils in class 3 HAVO and VWO do not pass the level. They have not learned any generally applicable calculation rules in primary education.
More than a quarter of Dutch primary schools perform poorly in arithmetic education
According to the Education Inspectorate, many children in primary education have poor calculations. Relatively simple sums like 5×1 / 5 or 99 x 201 cannot be solved by half of the students. 27% of Dutch primary schools perform far below par in maths. In language teaching this is only 12%. It can be concluded from this that the extra attention that reading and writing education has received in recent years has not been justified. About the cause of this insufficient math performance more and more people are thinking of the realistic calculation method. This method is used in most Dutch primary schools.
What is realistic arithmetic?
Realistic calculations are also called storytelling mentioned. Sums are no longer presented in rows, but placed in a context. A situation is outlined in which children can identify with. In that situation the sum takes place. The underlying idea is that calculations are less abstract for the children and therefore more fun.
Example of a realistic calculation
It’s your birthday and you want to treat every child in your class to an ice cream. An ice cream costs ?? 0.30. There are 25 children in your class. You go to the till with a ten euro note. How much money will you get back?
Objective of realistic calculations
The objective is for the children to obtain the correct answer and to reason it out. They come up with their own way of solving, the solution strategy. It is therefore quite possible that several strategies are possible for an assignment in the classroom. The child will then experience what will be the best solution for him or her.
Critical remarks about realistic calculations
In this way arithmetic becomes language, according to critics. Language-weak children do not learn to count. The usefulness of offering multiple solution methods has not been demonstrated, according to the inspection. Weak mathematicians should learn only one way of solving and then practice, practice, practice. Figures. Also read: Make old-fashioned long division back in arithmetic education
Long division and tables are reflected in the calculation methods
New solution methods have also been devised for realistic calculations multiplication, division, addition and subtraction where calculations are made with whole numbers. Long division has almost disappeared and has been replaced by column division.
Due to the declining results of arithmetic in primary education, the Foundation for Good Math Education, together with Noordhoff publishers, has developed a new calculation method.
In the meantime, long division has also been reinstated in the realistic calculation method “World in Numbers”.