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The Myth of Ability

The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child

John Mighton

Can your kids excel at maths? Yes they can—even if they’re not doing so well just now. John Mighton’s inspiring, empowering program, with its combined emphasis on confidence building and pure fun, brings out the mathematician in even the most discouraged students.

The Myth of Ability outlines Mighton’s acclaimed JUMP program (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies) and tackles head-on the fallacy that maths is only for those who are born to it. Anyone can do maths, says Mighton—and enjoy it.

John Mighton
About the Author

John Mighton is the founder of JUMP. He won an NSERC fellowship in mathematics at the Fields Institute, and has taught at McMaster and the University of Toronto. He’s also an award-winning playwright. He was a consultant on the Academy-Award-winning film Good Will Hunting, and also appeared in the film himself.

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224 pp
Text publication date:
4 January 2005
AU Price:
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Praise for John Mighton
andThe Myth of Ability

‘John Mighton understands the power of simplicity. He understands patience. He understands the language of maths. His approach to teaching maths is obvious, and no one’s ever thought of it before. The Myth of Ability is so fresh that it’s revolutionary.’

‘This is a unique book, a remarkable fusion of general insights and specific practices. Teachers will be grateful for its clear and consistent pedagogy, parents will derive concrete help from its practical examples, and education experts will mutter “I wish I had thought of this approach.” The myth of ability has been laid to rest and I, for one, am very thankful for it.’

‘When Nina started JUMP, we had no idea of the miracles you were performing…What a relief it is to have hope for her and to see she now has hope for herself. I really don’t recall any victories for Nina prior to her attending your program and I want you to know the victories she has won under your guidance have had enormous positive impact upon her view of herself.’

‘John Mighton might well become the nation’s math conscience. He not only knows that all children can master genuine mathematics but has repeatedly proved so with his brilliant, no-nonsense tutoring program.’

‘This is one of the most exciting books about education I’ve read in a long time. You believe John Mighton when he says that by opening our minds to new methods of teaching and learning we can accomplish more as a society than all the towering geniuses of the past.’

‘What is the magic of JUMP math?—Good teaching…I…took a risk by accepting an offer to introduce this program in my class. It turned out to be a gift to me and to my students. Their confidence is bursting. They know they are good at math! They are allowed to be successful… every one of them! They have learned much beyond what is expected for grade three students.’

‘Our students who were doing very poorly in Math now love the subject and eagerly await their next session. Their teachers often comment on the confidence the students have gained and the improvement they have shown in their daily work—all because of JUMP.’

‘These tutoring sessions have helped my students in many ways. Not only are their math computation skills stronger but their self-esteem is also on the rise. These students, who were accustomed to receiving below standard marks in math, are now receiving passing grades. They are eager to learn in the classroom setting and approach new learning situations with greater confidence. They have become greater risk takers and participate more willingly in math lessons. This newfound confidence in themselves and in their abilities has helped them achieve greater success.’