Category Archives: Philosophical

Numeracy and Literacy Simplified

The standard of efficiency in younger students in literacy and numeracy has been the subject of recent studies around the world. This appears to place the younger students in Australia at a relatively lower level of achievement, around 26th place in comparison to the rest of the world. Reduced to everyday learnings, numeracy and literacy refers, in the main, to the reading and writing of numbers, letters and words; that is 1, 2, 3 and ‘how are you?’

The ways and means of teaching these reading and writing skills has been the topic of in-depth enquiries at the educational level among scholars and teachers. Different approaches have been chosen and utilised with younger students and the resulting outcomes seem somewhat problematic when rated against levels achieved in other countries. Perhaps a further methodology would be timely and facilitative in bringing about more acceptable outcomes in teaching the writing of numbers and letters.

Numeracy and literacy are built upon the ability to replicate the digits of numeracy and the loops and whorls of literacy. The acquisition of these configurations gives the learner the ability to express themselves in numbers and words in a coherent and conceptual mode. The writing letters and words calls for the use of loops and whorls in an on-going and somewhat complex mix, whereas writing numbers may be more available to the learner, perhaps less complex.

Altogether therefore, the writing of these configurations demands firm mental and physical control of the relevant tools, that is, brain, hand, and pen or pencil. It is in this phase of the visual display that the learner, young or old, may experience episodical confrontation. The issue of confrontation may well surface in the writing of the words rather than the less complex numbers. Once the pencil or pen is deployed in this operation, the learner is mentally and physically a vital part of the journey. Hence the outcome of the initial experience may be unfavourable and become an emotional block for further interaction with the learning routine. The use of loops, whorls and digits can be avoided in first learnings when a different methodology is employed for the teaching of the different components of numeracy and literacy.

Two hieroglyphs (marks) can be substituted for the digits of numeracy and the loops and whorls of literacy. These hieroglyphic symbols are used in any position relevant to the intended display of numbers and words. The symbols could be used by learners at any age, ranging from 4 years to old age. The writing, in the first instance, is produced in print form, which is the precursor to running writing and the use of loops and whorls. Hieroglyphs eliminate the emotional and physical demands of forming those configurations in a coherent and understandable manner. The form of numbers and words are captured in a simple and accurate methodology.

Intellectual ability and age are not relevant in this setting, and confidence will be established through the simplicity of using hieroglyphs in these configurations. The method allows all comers to participate, including sections of the disadvantaged community. Classrooms and the use of professional teachers, whilst ideal, is not necessary for the implementation of the method.


John StGeorge

May 2017

A statement is true, if, and only if, the majority of persons of sound judgement would assent to its truth

“A statement is true, if, and only if, the majority of persons of sound judgement would assent to its truth.”

In essence the statement sounds agreeably acceptable on face value. However it may be helpful to begin with a linguistic analysis of the content of the statement to more thoroughly ground the assertion of truth from the majority of persons of sound judgement.

The initial problem seems to arise around the positing of a majority of persons. Perhaps an indication of the grand total of those who were surveyed would give more credence to the majority cohort.

What then can we assume, numerically, constitutes a majority of persons, say nine out of ten. Perhaps the predicate “a majority of persons” will suffice for an assertion. Also I am curious as to the socio-economic status of this majority of persons and what confidence this information would lend to the postulate for “sound judgement”.

It may be that the reality principal which refers to thoughts having the capacity to be wrong could apply. There seems to be another person or persons not mentioned in this statement, being the receivers of this statement and their ability to judge soundness. Perhaps the veracity of any such statement needs to be assented to by all the relevant parties to the postulate.

Again the locution “a majority of persons” stands alone needing a grand total referral. It may be that the statement itself tends to invite a philosophical illusion in the sought acceptance, on face value, of a majority of persons.

The further reality principal which refers to beliefs and judgements capable of being flawed places the truth of this statement in further doubt. Having applied both reality principals relating to the thought, belief and judgement doubts it may be that this statement could be vulnerable.

The metaphysical investigation into the nature of existence and the nature of truth looms large in the possible acceptance of sound judgement and truth. It would not be appropriate to ascribe any intention of deception in this statement; simply the content based on the premises seems to struggle when the reality principals are applied to each premise.

The nature of existence comes to mind when considering the majority of persons of sound judgement. What particular research was carried out to locate people of sound judgement? Where does one look; is it easy to find such interlocutors?

Indeed what were the antecedents of such a cohort, were they volunteers or paid? Perhaps a reference to the topic about which such a statement referred to would also throw more light onto the outcome. Maybe these people were acceptable as carriers of sound judgement in view of the topic and their qualifications in any such field of learning.

Bearing in mind the necessity demanded by this statement for persons of sound judgement perhaps the metaphysical requirements through the reality principals are not reducible.

One therefore, at times, feels a nearness to pedantry in one’s musings; however, pedantry may be the catalyst that seeks the truth.


The young person’s guide to numeracy and literacy

Reading and writing are basic learnings in a young person’s life. Reading is a process whereby the words generally convey the information of a third party. However, writing is of a far more personal nature, composed in the words of the writer. That is, the process of writing involves the feelings of self worth and personal accomplishment of the writer.

Reducing writing to the use of two hieroglyphs (marks) creates a gentle emotional environment for the writer. Grasping the concept of the use of the hieroglyphs  in writing is a mentally benign introduction to the eventual skill of running writing.

These two hieroglyphs create the pathway to full-blown literacy and numeracy through writing.


The hieroglyphs can be used in any juxtaposition to form letters and numerals.

Educating the brain

The uniqueness of the homo sapiens is epitomised by the way of the human brain with its ability to perform a multiplicity of tasks from simple to complex. Educating the brain, therefore, faces a challenge beyond the ordinary befitting profound outcomes evolving from brain driven processes. Swift and persuasive, the messages from the brain travel through the nervous system at the breathtaking speed of 100m/second. Continue reading