Math Aptitude: Fact or Fiction
I cannot tell you how many conversations I’ve had over the years with parents who have told me that their child isn’t capable of doing math because he or she lacked the aptitude to do it. As an educator, I cannot tell you how disheartening it has been to hear this because I believe that all children can and do learn. More importantly, I believe they want to learn but are often led to believe they cannot master a concept or subject because they have to work harder in a given subject.
Math seems to be a subject that frequently stumps children because it does not come easy for some students. Professors Miles Kimball and Noah Smith talk about the culture of math education in the U.S. highlighting the “moving away from a culture of hard work toward a culture of belief in genetic destiny.” I absolutely do not believe any child is pre-destined to perform higher or lower in a given subject; however, I acknowledge that there are children who are able to grasp concepts faster than others, even in math. Like Kimball and Smith, I believe we must not forget about the power of “perseverance and effort” when teaching children. We should not forget that when teaching children math, we must teach them to not only persevere but to recover as well. This lesson will not only serve children when teaching them math but it is a valuable lesson for children to learn in any subject. tlb