How many of us have said with a shrug, "I'm just not good at math"? Untrue, says mathematician John Mighton, who contends that anyone can succeed in math. In The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child, Mighton shares his methods for helping students overcome their inherent fear of numbers. Math, according to Mighton, is "simply a different way of perceiving nature."Those who dread math might be relieved to hear that The Myth of Ability really does break down basic mathematical concepts into understandable components: a whole chapter on fractions begins by advising teachers to have their students count on one hand by twos, threes and fives. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to add, multiply or even convert improper fractions to mixed fractions.
With his simple yet effective method, Mighton helps take the fear out of what for many is a mystifying discipline.
Amy Scribner writes from Olympia, Washington.