HC Deb 11 March 1890 vol 342 c498
MR. MONTAGU (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education whether his attention has been directed to the following resolution passed by the Associated Chambers of Commerce at their Exeter meeting:— That, in the opinion of this Association, the place held by decimals in the presnt system of teaching arithmetic materially impedes the introduction of a decimal currency, weights, and measures, by giving an idea of their difficulty it is therefore highly desirable that terminating decimals should be removed from the sixth to the third standard in the curriculum of elementary schools, so that they should follow the four simple rules; and whether any steps have or will be be taken in accordance with the recommendation of the Associated Chambers of Commerce?


Terminating decimals could be easily taught in the third or fourth standards so far as addition and subtraction are concerned, and would be very useful if they entered into the common arithmetical questions of everyday life, but anything further would involve great difficulty; nor does it seem expedient entirely to separate terminating from recurring decimals. In the Latin Union of coinage, weights, and measures, a series of mental problems within the range of the scholar's knowledge are always at hand, and the rules can be easily taught on sound principles; but this is not the case in England.