Category Archives: Dr Lawler’s Blog

These are the thoughts of Dr Graham Lawler and are not representative of GLMP Ltd or any other company.

1976 and Why Mathematics Counts!

1976 will go down in history for two particular reasons. First of all it was the now famous long hot summer. The weather was baking hot for weeks and weeks. Many news reports said at the time that areas of the UK were hotter than Spain. The other less well known reason is that this was the year that marked a real change in the economy. Up until 1976 life was quite straightforward. You went to school you did your o`levels (GCSEs of the day). If you were a girl you might go onto sixth form but you probably left to go to secretarial college. If you were a boy you did A levels and then went to university. Girls who went to university did feminine courses like sociology, unlike my former classmate the tv celebrity Carol Vorderman who read engineering. But in 1976 the economy changed and the fact is it has continued changing.It now means that the traditional type of jobs where you earned a good living like teaching, are not as good as they were in those days. In 1976 a teacher was in the top 20 of British jobs for lifestyle and income. Now it is not in the top 100. What happened? According to Prof Robert Reich there are now three kinds of jobs: routine producers in person providers symbolic analysts.Routine producers are standard jobs like factory assembly workers. These used to be well paid. You could make washing machines and be well paid for it. Today those jobs are gone. They are either done in the far east at cheaper labour rates or they are done my robot.

In person providers are people who do jobs that cannot yet be done by machine.. People who clean hotel rooms, people who serve you coffee, people who take money at the check out in your supermarket. These are all in person providers.

The last group, symbolic analysts, are the important group. These are problem solvers. They are people like plumbers and electricians, people who use and read symbols. They are engineers, people who make drawings and use them to solve problems; they truly are problem solvers. Don`t think that a symbolic analyst has to have a university degree, they do not. They are people who use symbols in their work, to represent the real world. They then manipulate those symbols to solve real problems. Since 1976 these are the only people who have seen a real increase in their income. That is the group you need to be in. That is why mathematics is so important economically speaking. It is at the heart of problem solving. Learning mathematics means learning to think mathematically and that is what sets you apart. That is why a good GCSE grade is vital and why the effort is so worthwhile.

 

Back to the Black: Five myths that can damage your route to wealth

 

Most people say they would like to be wealthy but why is it that few actually achieve this state?  The reason is that there are five common myths that stop you making money. These are wealth killers.

 

It takes money to create wealth

In truth very few rich people actually start off with enough or more than enough money in their lives.  Many of them had literally nothing other than their own thinking skills, they had big ideas and worked at them daily to make money.  The fact is that many wealthy people know that money does not automatically lead to more money.  Try going to a casino, it is rare for a casino to go broke it is not rare for their customers to go broke.  Wealthy people combine two things to get to a third, it is a simple equation:

good idea + the right action = money.

Ideas  don’t cost money.  Ideas are not limited to early mornings, you can have them at anytime.  The point is that when you have the idea you have to take the right action to turn it into wealth.

Wealth is created, it doesn’t just happen from the air.  It is possible at times to do something you love and make money as long as you act on your ideas.  The skill is thinking it through and making sure it is a good idea and not just a whim.  So money or lack of it is not an excuse for not becoming wealthy.  You MUST learn all you can about your idea and how it can be made into a business opportunity.  Then you are an expert and someone WILL  fund you to implement a well planned business opportunity.  If you sit and wait for money to come to you, and do nothing you will need to be patient, very patient because you will never become financially free.

Leave it to the experts

There are a number of experts who will tell you they have wonderful ideas to help people become financially free. In fact I met one who had been on a week’s training course, some expert!  One of the reasons they are so keen to invest your money is they will get a slice.  This is why you do need to become financially literate.  You have to run your own show, to benefit.

You have to be smart to become rich

This can keep you poor for the rest of your days.  It is important to be able to think and develop new ideas but education is not what gives you financial freedom.  Not all clever people are wealthy and not all wealthy people are clever.  People who turn their knowledge into something of value for others can become wealthy and that can mean you.

It was easier years ago

Every generation says this and  whilst there is some truth in this for young people of generation X, then it becomes a brake on thinking and application.  If you are talking about the good old days you are missing the point, these are the good old days of the future.  You are living in better days, you have the potential to get rich.

I will begin when I have everything

You really do have everything you need right now.  There will never be a time when you know everything or have everything you would like to start a business. The author Jeffrey Archer lost everything. He had a writing pad and a pencil and set to to become a best selling author.  He made himself millions by starting this way, he used what he had.  What do you have now,  that can make you money?

You cannot take action in the past, it has gone, you cannot take action in the future it has yet to arrive, you can only take action now!

 

Sums for Mums and Dads

Here is why we need a mums and dads army

cartoon for Our Education System

Our Education System(Source ofmdfmni.gov.uk)

 

PISA is the international standard examination system where standards are compared in different countries.  But is it a fair comparison?

The fact is that both the UK and USA compare badly against Asian countries.  As a mathematics and financial literacy educator it alarms me that the media pay so much attention to this.  Look at the cartoon, is the elephant going to win?  If it were a contest to see who could knock down a tree, would you bet on the frog?  The cartoon shows that you need to test to people’s strengths.  PISA is a blunt instrument but it has so much media coverage that we have no choice but to follow it. Any country that withdraws will be seen as ‘running scared’.

Does it matter?

Yes is the short answer.  There is evidence, at least anecdotally, that companies are looking at PISA scores to see if a country has enough qualified people from whom they can create a workforce.

But we are a bit like the elephant.  It does not measure what we are good at. In the UK we are brilliant at creativity.  Look at the things Britain has developed for the world.  We invented tarmac, DNA fingerprinting, the games of soccer, cricket, tennis and rugby,  Newton’s laws, the world wide web, the first programmable computer, television, the steam engine, the telephone, the jet engine, supersonic airliners , the first accurate atomic clock, the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny and spinning mule, the BBC ( Bless it!) wind up radio, I could go on.

These are all created from creatively thinking men and women. This is where we do and will continue to excel.  But can we win at PISA?

No we can never beat the Asian countries.

The fact is many Asian countries send their youngsters to night school and it is not uncommon for some children to finish school at 2 a.m., only to get up and start again at 6 am.

Many Asian children spend more time working at their studies in a day than our children spend in a week.  But at a tremendous personal cost. They never develop the natural creative flair that our children have because they are never allowed to develop their natural talents.

I can tell you that sadly some Asian youngster opt out, in some countries there is a huge problem of teenagers meeting up to commit suicide and we must never get to that situation.

Does that mean the current standard of mathematics education, my own subject, is good enough?  NO, we  can improve things and that is where you come in.

Schools have the children for 5 hours per day.  That means we have them for 19 hours and that is a great opportunity to improve things.

We need a parents army of mathematically able adults who can help their children.  We need people confident in percentages, fractions, decimals, using a calculator and dealing with lines and angles. This is all of the stuff that our youngsters have to learn whilst at school. If they, the children, can learn it why can’t we?

So here is the deal, I am looking for 100 parents to join me in a 10 week  project.  There will be a small charge to cover the costs of  mailing to you but it will be about £1 per day.  My usual daily rate is £450 and I have charged and been paid £1800 for a day. I have also been flown all expenses paid to Canada to give advice to a company  so £1 per day is, I hope you agree, great value.

What makes me qualified to lead this project?

1. I am a mathematics teacher and author and have been a head of department twice and taught student teachers in a university.

2. I wrote BBC Bitesize Maths

3. I wrote Understanding Maths with Arthur C Clarke (2001 A space Odyssey) as well as other mathematics books.

4. I hold 4 degrees and am one of the few British qualified online teachers and have been teaching online since 1998

5. I have advised  both the BBC and Channel 4 TV on their output and written tv programmes for the BBC.

 

So if you are interested in knowing more either sign up on the form or email info AT graham-lawler.com for a no-obligation information pack. (Remember to replace AT with @)

Together we can make a huge difference to your child’s future, if you want to!