Is maths ability innate?

Nature vs nurture.
10 January 2023


Child thinking about maths



Are mathematicians born rather than being made? 


Ems - I think it comes down to nurture, environment and opportunity. I worked for a while as a gifted and talented consultant and we were looking at how to encourage different types of skills. And one example was trombone playing. Now you could be lucky and grow up in a family where there's a trombone and get curious. Or you could be in a school where the music teacher takes them in and everyone gets a go. How do you know you're good at something if you haven't actually had the opportunity? So it's not just down to one thing. I think it's down to opportunity as well.

Chris - Well put. I agree. I think that it is about finding the person who's got the keen will and drive to want to do something and giving them the push and the chance to see how they get on, isn't it?

Ems - It's multifaceted and it's making sure we provide those environments. That's our responsibility to do that for the next generation.


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