Children in the US are being banned from using their fingers to count at school.
“Schools across the country regularly ban finger use in classrooms or communicate to students that they are babyish,” says Jo Boaler in The Atlantic.
Parents have taken to social media to argue that their children should be allowed to finger count.
“It broke my heart when my daughter who struggles with math was told by her teacher, she couldn’t use her fingers,” said Monica Lannon on Facebook.
Father Alex Wood posted: “My son’s 3rd grade math teacher wouldn’t let him pass his times tables because he used his fingers. I don’t get it. Not everyone has photographic memory and some struggle to memorise at all.”
“I have always and still use my fingers to count, and I will always encourage my children to do the same if it’s easier for them, despite the crazy ways they are being taught in the classroom. Everyone learns differently, ” another parent, Kimberly Seaver, added.
Although finger counting is discouraged in maths classes in the US, it could lead to advanced thinking in mathematics.
Finger representation and finger-based strategies “play an important role in learning and understanding arithmetic”, a recent study found.