Why Teaching Basic Arithmetic is Dumb.

I often get asked: “So, why don’t the kids have ‘real math’ classes at this school?” 

It’s an easy question to answer, but it’s only been made complicated by the institutional experience of most parents - we all went to school where it was an accomplishment to have memorized a times table, or race through a series of addition and subtraction flash cards. All activities that have been proven to impede the child’s logical development as opposed to enhance it.

The easy answer is: Teaching them math, like we were taught, will rob them of their ability to critically think and problem solve, and in turn, retard their development as a whole.

The complicated answer has to do with a review of some history of education in the United States, and cognitive studies in education.

Historically, our education system was designed to supply workers for factories. The great concern was that a worker would be able to add a series of widgets together so they could put them into a box, or take a minimal amount of defected items off of the line, without exceeding an expected quota. Basic arithmetic was necessary to accomplish the big goals of production for factories. While this was of necessity for assembly lines, it was of detriment to the development of the individuals on the line. 

Today, studies in cognitive development have shown that the student’s reasoning faculties are dulled by the introduction of arithmetic in early years.

Our approach at The Academy is to introduce the abstract processes of math at a later point in the students cognitive development (i.e. 6th or 7th grade) and focus on developing the child’s intelligence during the formative years (i.e. K-6), so that when it’s time to learn math, the foundation they have will make that experience pleasurable and easy to do. This way they will be able to apply reason to the everyday problems math was intended to address, most practically in the fields of engineering, architecture, mechanics and robotics to name a few.

Below is a link for you to read for yourself on these theories, and to get a better idea of what we’re doing at The Academy. Enjoy the article, it’s a very interesting read.

Psychology Today: How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development.


Gregg Garner


The Academy for GOD