I am listening to a programme on the radio by Alex Bellos
extolling the virtues of teaching arithmetics as music. I
always feel sad when teachers put competency over
comprehension. Of course, at work, competency is king,
what matters is only whether you accomplish your tasks and
how quickly. But when learning, comprehension should be
paramount, eventually it will lead to greater competency.
Yes, one can learn the times table by heart without any
understanding. It takes a lot effort though and has
limited value. Yet, if one is explained how numbers work,
the times table can be learned in 2 weeks, working 10
minutes a day. And it is real fun!