Sum of all fears
Published 19/09/2011 | 05:00
•The US decided in the 1960s to drastically improve the mathematics programme offered to all students between the age of five and 18.
The Russians had just beaten the Americans by sending a spacecraft around the earth and it was abundantly clear to President Kennedy that they lost that race because they were lacking in the development of science and maths students.
The new programme in the US started with five-year-olds because maths and science are cumulative subjects that sequence complete understanding of previous concepts.