Math is a series of interdependent steps
RE: Math problems in schools
Learning math is a series of steps where one step is often built upon the other.
For example, a child cannot learn to add unless it has memorized the number system. Adding must be understood in order to be able to learn subtraction. Adding and subtraction must be understood in order to grasp multiplication. Understanding multiplication equips the student to learn division, and so on.
If a student is pushed or permitted to move to the next step without having fully grasped the preceding one, the required building block is missing. Without it, the student lags, unable to grasp subsequent steps. These missing steps can build into a big pile that appears insurmountable to the student and teachers. The confused students then conclude they are no good at math, when the actual problem was caused by simply missing one step, which was needed for learning the next steps. Michael Hahn, Beamsville