Discussion in 'REME' started by GuNo!l, Mar 23, 2008.

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  1. Is there anyone out there who is struggling with dyscalculia?

    I am in the REME and was only diagnosed with it a year ago, I always knew i was an RTard when it came to maths and when it comes to formula i have a brick wall in front of me. This will cause a problem when it comes to my Tiffy course as i haven't met an instructor or lecturer who has any experience with soldiers that have dyscalculia.

    This is probably down to the math grades needed to join the REME (I transfered).

    Has anyone had the same problem? Or are there any Tiffys out there who have Dyscalculia?
  2. Mate, don't put yourself down like that. You'd be surprised how many people have it. Go and see your nearest Education centre and they'll be able to point you in the right direction-if they can't, they're being useless and if you get no joy from them, let me know and I'll get you a point of contact.
  3. Cheers, I had some private tuition with a maths tutor who used to teach at worthy-down. He was a top tutor but had no experience with dyscalculia. Im on a course in SEME at the moment and none of the math instructors have any experience either, 2 out of 3 hadn't heard of it.
  4. You may want to edit your last post Gu as I'm sure the person concerned may not want his name put on Arrse!

    Pop into the Education Centre and speak to them and mention that you have Dyscalculia-they WILL be able to help you. Good luck :thumright:
  5. I am not convinced that Dyscalculia is usually the reason for disfunction in reception and comprehension of mathmatical concepts. IMHO it is down to poor teaching. The problem is that most Maths teachers will only teach by the book. Different people understand things in different ways. Many Maths concepts (even the most basic) can be presented using several alternative approaches. There is no "correct way": the one that you regard as common sense is the right one for you! Some people will quickly understand the first way they are taught, others might need to be shown several different ways of approaching the problem until they find the one which suits them. This does not mean that they are in any way less intelligent than others: the important thing is to understand what you are doing, not just follow a formulaic approach.
    The main thing is to recognise your weakness (which you have done) and be prepared to go right back to basics and start again with a good teacher. The big problem is finding the good teacher!
  6. Fella, you don't need Dyscalculia to struggle in the Kremlin.
    I managed to pass a tiffy cse without knowing what the fcuk i was doing with most of the formula's. Some of the maths questions looked like a mix of maths and english to me. I though maths was about numbers!!
  7. I totaly agree with you BTDT, However most teachers of mathematics are simply preachers of the OLD SCHOOL maths, where understanding meant nothing and all you had to do was remember what the teacher said (probably because they didn't understand what the math was either).
    I always used to ask "Why do we do this" when i was doing math at school, and was always told to be quiet and not ask daft questions. What i really wanted to know is how to understand the gibberish on the board and put it into a practical situation so i could under stand it.
    With addition and subtraction we had apple's and banana's to count, with fractions we had pies and cake, volume and area had boxes and bottles of liquid... and then when it came to algebra and formula, the top reply from the teacher was always "you dont need to understand it, just remember it"

    Yeah, Thanks for that sir!!!
  8. This is a big issue GuNo, not because of the problem but because of the lack of resources available to help you cope, there really is very little in the way of guidance for teachers (I was a maths teacher and am all too aware of the issue) Having recently left the RN after serving as Head of Dept in an engineering school I sent most of my guys on Dyslexia awareness training but there simply is no Dyscalculia training available, some awareness of it exists within the children's school SEN arena but the best guideline for most teachers is to visit the British Dyslexia Association's website HERE

    Dyscalculia has only recently been taken seriously, what most of us referred to as "word and number blindness" at school or "the special class" has slowly evolved into something of use for sufferers, unfortunately that evolution is ongoing and dyscalculia has been in the background (behind dyslexia) but is moving forward in the awareness stakes. You will still get the odd "expert" who actually believes you are "just-a-bit-slow-at-maths" and all you really need is to start from scratch with a "good" maths teacher. You know this is bollox but unfortunately it will be down to you to find some coping strategies.

    From my limited knowledge I would say you are part way there and in a better position than most, severe cases have big problems with basic arithmetic, you suggest that symbolism is your main issue, as a tiff myself I can see a problem here, algebra defines what a tiff is (at least whilst on course) Have a read through the BDA links and see what you can find. Please feel free to pm and I will try to find answers to your questions (I have professional membership of a couple of educational institutes and therefore have access to papers and resources which may help, I am not an expert though by any stretch!)
  9. That really does speak volumes about alot of teaching meathods. Some people are great at absorbing information like formulas straight off. Others, and I am one of these people, learn better if there is a context to what is being taught. I am on a BEng degree program and had real trouble understanding Intergration, until, several weeks later, we were introduced to using it in context of the subject. I find the problem is when the mathematics is taught seperatly without reference to what its for creates a lot of problems in really understanding what the formulas are really about!
  10. You'll be pleased to know that there is a big move toward "multi-sensory-learning" academic pink and fluffy way of saying: putting things in context. A large percentage of people (particularly in engineering) have a kinaesthetic learning style (they learn by doing things rather than reflecting on or just listening) Maths is a subject that needs some perspective, especially for engineers, it also needs time for reflection to truly understand what you are actually doing (your integration example is a good point, why am I working out the area under the graph when I'm actually trying to solve a mechanics question?)

    You'd be shocked by the statistics kicked up by mathematics, 1/3 of all graduates have what are described as "problems with fundamental mathematical principles" that's graduates think about non-grads and their level of maths. There are a whole generation of people wondering around and only capable of carrying out mathematics in a mechanical robotic way, with no imagination or real comprehension of how and why they are manipulating the logic. (remember BODMAS? the start of the slippery slope but things are changing thanks to a little government paper called the Leitch Report into UK skills :wink: )
  11. The main problem that I have is that the mathematics is a completely seperate module from the Engineering modules, and what we are doing this year may not be used until the second or third year, so I know I may not get the context on what I am doing for some time.

    And this is a problem that goes back to GCSE level. I didn't personaly have problems back then, but I know people who struggled, not because of the theory, but because they could not relate the mathematics to the equations because, quite simply it wasn't put in the context that it should have been. To me that sums up one of the fundamental problems of GCSE's, they tend to test on memorising information, rather than an understanding of the subject.
  12. Why? Can you not just cheat like everyone else did/does?
  13. It's more complex than you'd like to think, I agree GCSE mathematics is not ideal and there are several reasons why it never will be (or ever was!) Many of its practical applications are employed in mechanics or physics and beyond the remit of a mathematics level 2 qual, there simply isn't the time to teach the intricacy of many principles; in reality solving some relatively simple problems from basic principles is just too complex (think about the sum of the internal angles of a triangle in plane geometry v the parallel postulate, this is deep stuff and the concept is probably beyond some 14 year old and certainly unneccessary baggage for most)

    GCSE mathematics is, and probably always will be, a foundation course in the practices of arithmetic and methods of simple mathematics. GCSE is designed to build up to A level and then higher level logic and its applications. In short GCSE is not teaching you how to become a mathematician, it is teaching you some potentially useful mathematics, as such it is very true; if you can carry out the methods you need not understand the principles- you can however go on to study the principles in depth later in life....... not ideal but a pragmatic and practical approach, unfortunately! As a mathematician I would like to see all kids taught from Euclid through Fermat, Descartes, Newton et al........... it's not going to happen!
  14. Its good to know that dyscalculia is being recognised, I wasn't aware it is being acknowledged at all.
    Hopefully the teaching of mathematics in a more practical and understandable way will catch on quickly, but i cannot see it filtering down to the forces schools of engineering for a very long time. This is a worrying problem for the forces because until this problem becomes recognised and understood then we are going to continue to have excellent soldiers and potential artificers miss out on the Tiffy route because of their difficulty with math.
  15. I was thinking more along the lines of the mathematics being taught integrating with other subjects that require mathematics. Also If you understand the principles it is often a damn sight easier to carry out the meathods. Maybe we need to think about mathmatics as an essential base skill for other subjects rather than just a discipline in its own right, at least up to GCSE, and use A-level Mathematics to start teaching "pure" Maths.
    On a point aside the basic algebrae that we were taught was often too simplistic for the level that was required for the maths.
    Then again maybe as an engineer I see maths as only a third of the knowledge that I need, the other two aspects being the theory behind a subject, and the subjects practical applications.