If you haven’t read A Mathematician’s Lament, Paul Lockhart’s gloriously polemical assault on

the confused heap of destructive disinformation known as “the mathematics curriculum”

then I strongly encourage you to put that right.

The focus of Lockhart’s ire is mathematics in the US school system, but it translates without difficulty to the UK and probably a great many other places.

Lockhart doesn’t diagnose the cause of this mathematical malady, but I will offer one thought: the take-over of *exam results* as the be-all and end-all of educational attainment.

If you fancy discussing this issue further, there’s a webinar on the topic over at MathFuture this evening, hosted by David Wees and Richard DeMerchant.