Children learn to tie shoelaces later than ever before

One of many cultural shifts undermining the traditional model of mathematics education: loss of dexterity in children. From The Telegraph:

Today’s children may be whiz kids at hi-tech gadgets, but they now learn to tie their shoelaces at a later age than ever before, a new report has found.

Few master the art before the age of six, and some still have difficulty tying their own laces when they are nine or ten years old, it is claimed.

The findings represent a major shift in social habits – just thirty years ago, being able to tie shoelaces was regarded as a skill to be learnt by the age of four, but changes in shoe design and footwear fashions means the skill is no longer essential until much older.

Gary Kibble, retail director for Littlewoods.com who carried out the study, said: “Today’s children now learn how to operate complex technology long before they know how to tie shoe laces. They understand navigation paths and algorithms – yet still don’t know how to make a knot.

Read the whole article.

Barry Cooper: “The Universal Machine” at the New Diorama …

…. the poignant and hugely entertaining theatre production of “The Universal Machine” at the New Diorama in central London. On April 23 there was a special performance with various various prominent ATY supporters in the audience. It was a great treat to see the nieces of Alan Turing there, familiar to many from their engaging TV interviews, with fascinating memories of their uncle Alan.

The uniformly wonderful company, and Diorama staff, must have been really relieved to hear all the positive comments. The music and cleverly crafted lyrics gave a special lightness to the essentially sad story, and both intensified, and lifted the impact to a new level. Turing’s niece Janet was especially happy to see her grandmother (Turing’s mother Sara) played so brilliantly by Judith Paris. Judith also attracted high praise from The Guardian.

There were lots of reviews in the national press. There was a thoughtful piece by Daisy Bowie-Sell in the Telegraph: http://bit.ly/ZLaiWH with our favourite review by the ever perceptive Libby Purves in The Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/stage/theatre/article3751815.ece

If you live within reach of London, don’t miss it! Some nights are already sold out, but it’s on at New Diorama (just 15 minutes walking from Kings Cross) until May 11: http://newdiorama.com/whats-on/the-universal-machine