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John Mighton and JUMP Math: Turning Math Class into a Tool for Social Justice

Nominated by David Bornstein

Attention Grant to: John Mighton, founder of JUMP Math (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies), based in Toronto, Canada.

John Mighton and hundreds of educators using the JUMP methods are spreading an approach that allows the vast majority of children to experience success in math at early ages. Math is a subject that, as currently taught, leaves millions of children feeling inadequate -- and leads many to disengage from school. Mighton has demonstrated in numerous settings that, contrary to common assumptions, you don't need to be born with the ability to do well in math. Anyone can conquer the subject if it is taught by someone who understands how to break down problems into smaller steps. Instead of reinforcing a damaging and lifelong hierarchy, JUMP turns math class into a tool for social justice -- demonstrating that almost anyone can become proficient if they are taught in a manner that reinforces their confidence at the outset. It's a beautiful and simple idea that could unleash an extraordinary amount of trapped potential if it receives the support it needs to spread further.

Image Credit: John Mighton via JUMP Math.

David Bornstein specializes in writing about social innovation. He is the author of “How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas” (Oxford University Press) .

Editor's Note: This piece is part of Worldchanging's Attention Philanthropy campaign. All week long, the Worldchanging Network will be delivering "attention grants" to worthy projects, individuals, resources and more. You can learn more about these gifts of notice and find other entries by clicking here.

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Nice work, but it would be really worldchanging if John Mighton would release the materials under a free license, like creative commons.

Posted by: Catharina on 26 May 10

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