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What makes one person better at Maths than another?

By milestonetutoring, Sep 28 2017 09:52PM

Why do some children seem to 'get' Maths more readily than others? It's a question every parent and every tutor must have asked themselves a million times, so we were very interested to come across the article tagged below on a website from the USA. In essence, the article suggests that it isn't so much to do with innate ability as with self-belief, or the lack of it! Once a child achieves a personal breakthrough in Maths their enthusiasm and commitment to the subject increases and success becomes self-reinforcing. Of course the opposite also applies - and the authors contend that the whole idea of innate Mathematical ability is pernicious, leading a child who falls behind their peer group to believe that they just weren't born with Maths 'genes' and should just stop trying. One thing we see every day at Milestone is the damage that's often been done to a child's Maths confidence when, for whatever reason, they have missed out one of the vital stepping-stones in understanding. This can be something as simple as not having learned their times tables off by heart when very young, or failing to fully understand the concept of fractions and ratios, or not feeling confident in the basic algebra techniques as they move towards their GCSEs. Spotting and correcting these gaps in a child's basic Maths skillset is one of the most important things any tutor can do, and the best days we have at Milestone are when one of our students says excitedly to their parent: 'Look - I couldn't do this before but now I can!' The truth is that in a school class of 30 or more children it's all too easy to fall behind, stop believing in yourself and stop progressing. That's a situation we don't want any of our kids to be in!

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