The Myth of Ability

The Myth of Ability

Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, 2003
ISBN: 9780887846939
Branch Call Number: PC 372.7 Mig
Characteristics: 209 p. : ill


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 08, 2014

JUMP, for Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies, is the program that John Mighton developed to teach mathematics to children from Grade 1 to Grade 8. The key to the JUMP method would seem to be to break up a task, like the addition of fractions with different denominators, into the most basic steps, so that even the weakest students can solve it. In this case, as in others, the child is taught to count to the right answer. For example, if the fractions have denominators of 4 and 6, the child counts up by sixes: 6, 12,18…stopping at 12, since it is the smallest number in the sequence into which 4 divides evenly and so is the lowest common denominator.
The JUMP method would seem to rely on the use of teaching assistants in the classroom; Ontario schools today aren’t currently set up for them. This would seem to create organizational and budget challenges that Mighton simply skates around.
One wonders whether the careful steps of the JUMP method, so helpful for the slow learner, might not be boring and tedious for the gifted child. Mighton seems to be implicitly opposed to any form of streaming in classrooms, without explicitly mentioning it, but one really wonders if a higher stream of students shouldn’t be taught in a different way from a lower stream.
For me, one of the most interesting passages in the book was tangential to its main subject. Mighton talks about how Sylvia Plath had taught herself to write poetry through sheer hard work and tenacity, and how, inspired by her example, he turned himself into a playwright and won a Governor General’s Award for drama.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IPL

To Top