The British Dyslexia Association describes Dyscalculia as “A specific learning difficulty with mathematics or more appropriately arithmetic. With 5% of the population believed to experience the condition there isn’t a lot of information out there to inform teachers and parents about how it affects those that have it. One man is leading the way in the UK in helping people to understand what Dyscalculia is, his name is Peter Jarrett.
Peter, welcome to the Studying With Dyslexia Blog, please could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
“Hi, I’m Pete Jarrett and I am a specialist teacher and assessor with an interest in dyscalculia and maths learning difficulties. I am Chair of the British Dyslexia Association Dyscalculia Committee and am on other committees that work on behalf of or professionals and people who find maths learning difficult. I speak at conferences around the country as well as lecturing at Bath Spa University.”
Why do you do what you do?
I am dyslexic myself and that has meant that there are aspects of life and learning that I can find difficult at times – for one thing, I am really disorganised!
Whilst my dyslexia has not held me back it has meant that I have done things in unorthodox ways at times. I went into teaching later in life, and I was soon struck by how many people struggled with their learning but weren’t really understood. To be brutally honest, I was dismayed that many people who struggled with traditional learning were still being called lazy when it was very apparent to me that they needed a different approach to shine.
I can do maths, and I understand struggle, so I have combined both and now my focus is on helping teachers to understand how and why people can struggle with maths and to give them some ideas on how to help.
We can we get to hear you speak about Dyscalculia?
On June 8th I will be speaking at the SEN Jigsaw Conference delivering one of the plenary talks entitled “Defining Dyslcalculia: What have we learnt about maths difficulties and maths learning?”.
I will be talking about what dyscalculia is and about the other ways that people can find maths difficult. I will also give some ideas around ways that people who struggle with maths learn and what can be done to help them.
I won’t be asking anyone to do any difficult maths because part of my talk will be about the things that people find uncomfortable in the maths classroom and how they feel about the maths in their everyday life.
That sounds great. Would will delegates get from attending your plenary talk?
I hope that everyone will understand dyscalculia a bit better. They will be able to recognise some of the indicators and learn how other conditions such as dyslexia can cause difficulties with maths learning.
People will get some ideas about strategies that can help children to understand maths better.
How can our readers find out more about you?
My business – Tutorum Training - has a website: www.tutorum.co.uk
I am on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pete-jarrett-9086b735
I am also on Twitter: @idyscalculia and @tutorum
People can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org