Gambling skills can help kids with maths

Professor Alastair Gillespie, chairman of the Scottish Mathematical Council, believes that by introducing simple gambling games into Maths lessons, children will become more engaged and will likely to improve their mathematical skills.

Gillespie claims that young children have problems with mathematical problems such as probability, a concept at the heart of gambling.

"Things like tossing coins and cutting cards are simple techniques which teach pupils about basic maths and I think it would catch the interest of students if we were to introduce that in schools. What you are trying to do is engage with pupils and present them with scenarios which interest them because it shows how maths can be relevant and we need to do more of that," Gillespie advised.

Gillespie immediately came under fire for his comments from anti-gambling societies, claiming that his ideas would only serve to encourage children to gamble. However, one gambling expert agreed with Gillespie, stating that there is no evidence of teaching people gambling skills leads to problem gamblers, as long as people are aware of problems that can lead from gambling.

"Gambling should be on the school curriculum because it engages people with basic maths," said Mark Griffiths, professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University.

"I have taught in schools and if you show people that there is much greater chance of being hit be lightening than of winning the lottery, it puts gambling into perspective. As long as there is an understanding that in some circumstances gambling can be a problem, I don't think there is anything wrong with this."

Editor, - 2007-01-04 11:33:20

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