Now, math is just abstract, you may say. There can’t be good and evil in math, surely! Two and two make four for everybody... don’t they?
Yet even in the teaching of math, there are right and wrong ideas about how we look at children, which is how we look at persons and therefore at the education appropriate to persons.
From the outset, the study of numbers, arithmetic, should provide the opportunity for a study of pattern. A student must learn his tables, but
not merely by rote: rather, to prepare the mind for pattern investigations which strongly depend on the awareness of number and of number relationships. Learning just by rote does not always lead to the awareness of pattern.
For this reason, there is now an intense fight about the importance of learning the tables. Some argue that things that computers can do ought not to take up our children’s time, as if number facts might clutter the mind...