Spotting an innate ability is like discovering a gem. The more you look at it the more it stands out. For among the strikingly observable, lies a buried trait that if utilized can shake the paradigm of monotony and replace it with authenticity in thinking. If an educator is able to discover this buried trait in learners, he/she can disclose this precious gem which in many instances is hidden from the learners like a secret. The subject of Mathematics derives its rig-our from classical logic, which in turn is based on rational thought process. It may interest the reader to know that even in Mathematics there are certain aspects (axioms) which are taken for granted. In fact Bertrand Russell, a British Mathematician said that his brother introduced him to a particular branch of Mathematics and said that for them to proceed they would have to take a few axioms for granted. At that point Russell was inclined to dispute it but he realized soon why his brother was justified. Russell later on worked to reduce Mathematics to logic.
The point is that Russell’s innate ability to think mathematically existed prior to learning the subject. This holds true for many learners but when the rig-our is introduced they may get intimidated without knowing why. The reason is the nature of rig-our involved. This is where teachers and tutors have to point out that the learner would have to gain familiarity with the rig-our and premise of Mathematical concepts. Unfortunately, it is not seen as important. An aspect like this can make the difference between pursuing Mathematics as a career and eliminating it as an option altogether.
On many occasions in casual conversations we can spot logical thinkers but we may find out that they are not mathematically inclined. This is usually due to the way Mathematics was taught in school. In the initial phase of learning it would be as well to get students to focus on problem solving without broaching the system of examinations. Later on, application under controlled circumstances becomes rather easier for students. More than examinations it is important for students to appreciate Mathematics. For instance, problem solving involved in Geometry is a scientific process in itself. In order to understand the basis of geometric thinking, one would have to close one’s eyes to the environment which is in reality irrelevant and open one’s mind’s eye to the mystery of riders. It may interest tutors and teachers to know that at the basis of Mathematics, there is a distinct nature of thinking that would help them solve not only Mathematics but also the universal rider of teaching it.