Throughout our lives, we’ve all come across people who will tell us that they are either good at math or bad at math. We also all have our views of our own math abilities. You might consider yourself good at math, or maybe you think of yourself as being not so good at it. At Math Genie we believe that anybody can learn to become a Math expert. Math is like any other skill. It can be taught and refined through deliberate practice.
Growing up, I generally thought of myself as being pretty decent at math. And when I looked at others around me, I suppose I bought into the idea that some people were just inherently good at math and others were just bad at it.
But according to a new story from the Kurzweil Network, a new study has revealed that there is no longer much convincing evidence of this idea that math abilities are innate. There’s actually more to it than that.
This new study compares two different ways of studying math abilities in children. The first is basically this older idea that math skills are innate, or the idea that people are born with what they call a “sense of numbers.” To be more specific, people innately have the ability to recognize different quantities according to this theory.
And the other is this newer idea called a “sense of magnitude.” This theory basically says that people are more likely to look at numbers in groups instead of looking at each number. And this can apparently make it difficult for a lot of people to understand math.
So it would seem that contrary to what I and a lot of other people have believed for a long time now, there’s a lot more to it than just a basic ability to understand numbers.
And it all really does make more sense when you think about it. I mean, the reason that I said earlier that I generally considered myself “decent” at math when I was a kid was because my math grades throughout my childhood were actually kind of mixed. There were times when I did very well, and there were other years where I struggled to pass my math classes.
So would it really be fair to say that I was either good or bad at math? I don’t think it would. It would be more accurate to say that my math abilities were often dependent on other factors like the kind of math I was doing or the way teachers presented the information to me.
And just to be clear, this isn’t to say that people don’t have any sort of “sense of numbers.” But the “sense of magnitude” is also a factor in how people understand math. And this is something that more people need to consider when studying how children process math concepts.
And the more we understand about this, the easier it will be for us to help children learn to better understand math. So perhaps it’s time that we as a society embrace this new information. How else are we supposed to help kids improve at math?
So if you want your child to become naturally gifted in Math, signup for a Free class. We will show you how your child can become a Math expert.