I am not completely dismissing the education system in England. I have benefited from aspects of it and I’m sure there are people today who owe a lot to the hard work of teachers up and down this country. After all, you never forget a good teacher.
It is for that reason though, that I have to give props to the greatest teachers in me young days. Sadly it was not the teachers of me junior and infants schools. Neither am I that impressed by the works of me nursery. I owe what I know to the wonders of programmes on television – especially Sesame Street. Now as me daughters grow up and imbibe various influences to help shape their learning I so wish they had what I had in Sesame Street.
I never considered meself a maths whizz, but I caught myself being able to do mental arithmetic (not long division, mind you) and getting results fairly fast and that has to go down to a large degree to the work of the one, the only – The Count. (At which point thunder should strike and lightning should flash with the familiar chortle echoing through the air.)
You want to talk about embedded learning, that brother showed the presence of maths in virtually everything. I still remember how he would go into spasms of joy at successfully reaching another conclusion to a count and the chortling-lightening-thundering that would result in that. Great stuff. That guy loved his numbers, no two ways about that. (And the two ways was a deliberate thing to count them by – chortle, chortle, chortle!)
My poor daughters don’t understand why I get on them so much with a cape and false fangs and get them to count the minutes, or the number of red kidney beans in their plate, or the number of chances they have left before their privileges are withdrawn. They do not understand now, but they will understand when they grow older and they like me will give props to the one for whom it is due – The Count!! (Thunder – lightning – chortling – you get the drift).