Great Math Learning, Mathematical Thinking

Math gene is a myth, break it down

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‘I am not a math person.’
‘I was never good at algebra, so he isn’t either.’
‘I was never a good math student, so my kids won’t be good at it either.’

These are some phrases you’ve come across or said yourself at some point in your life.

The math gene is a strong, misguided belief among parents that math is in reality an inbuilt ability or gene that children are born with, which explains why some children are good at the subject and some cannot seem to grasp it at all. This belief is not true.

Every child can solve simple math problems; it’s just like any other subject-it takes practice to master math.

Math is an important life skill that your child needs, to survive in the world and perform complex calculations such as calculating the percentage of household expenses and plan budgets.

The primary reason behind some children being better at the subject than their peers is their internal beliefs in their mathematical abilities. The Blackboard learning system your child is exposed to everyday makes it hard for them to nurture and become more confident in the subject, even if they genuinely enjoy it.

The way math is taught to your child in school emphasizes a one-question, one-answer policy which forces your child to mug up the answers to perform better in exams. Cuemath understands the importance of mathematics and understanding the logic behind the way a math problem is solved, by understanding the ‘Why’ behind the ‘What’ of math problems. We help your child find their answers, breaking away from the stereotype that a math problem can have a single solution to it, by helping them find innovative solutions to math problems that would otherwise have no more than one solution for them.

Studies have shown that the ‘math gene’ in reality is not a trait that gets passed on through generations. A Norwegian study examined the existence of the math gene by asking 70 fifth-graders to complete nine different math problems. Each of the simple math problems required the use of a different mathematical concepts and application of mathematical thinking.

Had the ‘math gene’ existed, individual children would have been equally correct (or equally incorrect) on all nine tasks. The research showed that children performed better in the concepts they learned in school compared to the others. No one appeared to be ‘naturally good’ or ‘naturally bad’ at solving simple math problems.

Math is a skill that children practice and get better at; no child is born with a ‘math gene’ that makes them better at math compared to their peers.

This Dussehra, bust the myth of ‘math gene,’ and let your child’s love for math shine through.


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Isha Chakraborty

Isha is the resident Cuemath content writer, and an avid reader.

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