Episode 3: What is dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia literally means disorder in calculation. It's real and it impacts about 5-7% of the population. It is also one of the Specific Learning Difficulties (SLDs) so we need to talk about it.

Watch episode 3 on YouTube

Show notes

It’s so common to hear people say, “I’ve just never had a head for numbers” or “I’m terrible at maths” that we don’t flinch when we hear it. But, what would you think if you heard someone say, “I’ve never had a head for letters and speech sounds” or “I’m dreadful at reading”? When you think about it, you realise that it’s far more common (and socially acceptable) for people to talk about openly maths difficulties than any other learning issues, so it’s no wonder that dyscalculia is far less talked about than dyslexia or dysgraphia and remains hidden. 

Links from Episode

William Van Cleave (RIP) is mentioned by Bill in terms of worded maths questions. Van Cleave mentions the complex clause structure found in secondary text books (and the impact on comprehension) in an excellent talk called ‘Syntax Matters’ that can be found at:

Bill’s 3Ds Workshop – mentioned briefly by Bill. This is a very popular workshop Bill runs for schools. Information at:


Dyscalculia: Action Plans for Successful Learning in Mathematics (Glynnis Hannell): Mentioned by Bill as the best book on Dyscalculia he’s read. Get at:


Tierney Kennedy – mentioned by Bill as a legend in the maths teaching space:




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