# Can animals count?

It has been said by many that animals in fact have the ability to count, however in the 1980’s Wilhelm von Osten was said to have taught his horse Hans how to count. Hans was able to stamp his hoof in order to answer questions such as basic addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. Hans and his owner would perform all over Germany and amaze hundreds of viewers with his mathematical ability.

After investigation it was discovered that in fact Hans could not count and instead was reacting to non-verbal hints from the person who was questioning him. It was also found that Hans could only answer the question correctly if the questioner knew the answer. This has caused scientists now to believe that animals cannot count but this may not be the case.

Scientists later carried out a study involving ants, researchers took some ants and cut their legs to make them shorter and stuck some matchsticks onto others. the ants with shorter legs stopped walking before they made it home and those with longer legs walked past their homes. This suggesting that the ants could in fact count the amount of steps it took for them to reach their home. So can animals count? the question still remains.

# Why I chose discovering mathematics

Maths has always been an interest to me, during my years as a primary school student I loved to learn the different mathematical concepts, this may be due to having an extremely enthusiastic teacher especially when it came to maths. I always found maths fun in primary school with exciting games and activities that helped to develop my understanding and knowledge of the subject. This excitement however did not continue into secondary education.

As I made the huge jump from primary to secondary school I began to dislike maths and dread the time when I had to go to class. The difference from primary school was huge, rather that playing games and doing fun activities I was now required to sit and complete equations from a textbook. Maths in primary school was learning things that I could use in every day life such as telling the time and currency where as in high school I didn’t see the use of the majority of the thinks that I was learning and I therefore became disengaged in the subject.

In order to be successful as a teacher I must be able to teach the basics fundamentals of mathematics to the pupils in my class, due to my disengagement in secondary school I forgot the basics of maths such as multiplication and division because I was so focused on the more difficult stuff. I therefore took this module to recap and broaden my knowledge of mathematics.