Jiaming First Experimental Primary School has decided to replace mathematics in its curriculum with additional reading and calligraphy classes for first and second graders. The school, located in Liaocheng, Shandong Province, is testing out this new curriculum with students who participate in a new 9-year education plan.
China National Radio reports that the school’s reasoning is that ‘logic’ isn’t understood by students at an early age. Yao Ming can relate.
“Pupils in lower grades have good memory but bad logics, which may easily entrap them into mechanical memorizing,” Li Zhimeng, the headmaster of the school, told China National Radio.
Li believes that students tend to just memorize the answers to addition and subtraction questions, rather than thinking about why the answer works logically.
Since 2013, two consecutive classes at this Shandong private school have eliminated math in the first and second grade curriculum.
Li explains that the concepts and formulas are only understood by a child when he or she reaches third grade. However, he seems to disregard the notion that the building blocks for understanding would be missing without prior education.
Xinhua reported that after these trials started, the school has introduced second grade math games into the curriculum, which isn’t making Li’s argument look so hot.
Back in 2014, one school in Shanghai’s Jing’an District canceled math classes for its first grade students. No data has been reported concerning how effective this strategy was.
By Emily Lam