Careless, wrote teacher on Prince Charles maths notebookApril 25th, 2010 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS
London, April 25 (IANS) Maths was not Prince Charles forte, shows a nearly 50-year-old exercise book on which an exasperated teacher has written “careless” and “you must be more careful when putting in decimal point”.
The mathematics book, used by Prince Charles in 1963 in his school Gordonstoun and which lay forgotten in the back of a drawer for nearly 50 years, is packed with algebra and trigonometry problems, Daily Mail reported.
A teacher had scrawled next to the sums in pencil and red ink words including “careless” and “You must be more careful when putting in decimal point”.
David Burghes, a professor at the Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching at Plymouth University, was handed over the green-cover exercise book without being told about the then 14-year-old student.
“The student’s work in shape and space is not quite up to the same high standard, though I would be interested to know the methods employed by the teacher as I sense a degree of teaching/learning by rote methods rather than there being any genuine understanding of the concepts that underpin trigonometry.”
“With the exception of the algebraic long-division work, the work covered in these exercises is what is still expected in higher level GCSE maths today. If the student were to take GCSE maths today, he or she would be looking at an A grade.
“However, when you take into consideration this student had no access to a calculator and had to use tables to find required values and also needed to calculate the decimal value of fractions with pen and paper, it adds an extra level of difficulty to the work,” Burghes is quoted as saying.
The professor said that Charles’s algebra, including his quadratic equations, were well set-out and solved correctly.
He pointed out that while the teacher rebuked Prince Charles for several errors, some of the corrections were in fact themselves wrong.
The teacher had ticked off the Prince for failing to write his answer to four decimal places - only to then give the wrong angle as the ‘correct’ answer.
The media report said that Charles failed his maths O-level at his first attempt in 1965, but managed to get English language, English literature, Latin, French and History. He gained his maths after resitting it in the sixth form.
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