Apparently the acumen in maths of a kid’s parents affects him or her in a very direct manner.
It seems to be the case that parents who are good at maths have kids who are also good at the science of numbers. A study which took place recently showed this link between parents and children with reference to transfer of math skills.
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Intergenerational transfer was especially studied in the research work that took place. The parental hegemony over the kid’s psychological dispositions and demeanor in case of math abilities were obvious right from the start.
It is almost as if an intuition regarding numbers is passed down from parents to children. This can take place with one’s knowledge or without one’s knowledge.
That is why it is termed intuitive in its nature. It is in fact like a sixth sense. The math skills of parents almost seem to rub off on their children in an unconscious manner.
This research will have many key repercussions for how parents teach their kids regarding numbers. Also how teachers pass on the knowledge regarding math skills to students is of key relevance here.
The study went into how the performance of kids on math tests in school were similar to how their parents performed on these tests. The parents and their offspring matched on such capabilities as math computational skills, number recall and word problem solving.
Finally, the kids’ ability to sense that 20 jellybeans are more than 10 jellybeans was a rough guesstimate of their parents’ ability on similar matters.
The striking resemblance between the two generations on mathematical ability was simply magical to behold on a real time basis. It was almost like telapathy taking place across the eras.
The question goes back to this ability having been well-developed at the time of infancy. It was not just passed on from parent to child on the basis of learning alone but on a genetic level.
It is a case of unlearned non-communicated inheritance of math skills. Cognitive abilities may have something to do with it. It is most probably a complex amalgam of hereditary and environmental influences.
The passing on of the baton of culture in the relay race that is humanity shows that parents have a multitude of influences on their progeny.
The tests that were conducted as a part of the research showed that children are quick to gauge and perceive the ins and outs of math if their parents also show similar tendencies.
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The study titled, "Intergenerational Associations in Numerical Approximation and Mathematical Abilities" is available in the latest edition of Developmental Science.