Is iq important in math

The University of Munich (LMU) found in a long-term study that motivation is more important than intelligence for success in mathematics. Is that an announcement to everyone who says: "I'm just too stupid for math?"

How important is intelligence?

If we look at the development of a newborn person through to a good computer, there is much to suggest that intelligence is an important "door opener". After all, impressions not only have to be perceived, but also processed. So: The new impression is compared with what has already been experienced and is then either sorted into the categories that have already been formed. Or he throws up what has been thought up to now and thus ensures a reorganization of knowledge. In order to manage this processing, basic skills are required, which we can ultimately find in large parts under the concept of intelligence.

Smart student, but a failure in math

But even with school beginners it becomes clear that intelligence is not decisive for success in mathematics. Rather, a good link between quantities and numbers is crucial. Students who have this will have a high probability of leaving their smarter classmates behind in math in the medium term without this link.

A student without the correct concept of quantity will not understand what math actually means from the first day of school - no matter how motivated he is. Therefore, he simply has to learn the explained calculation methods by heart. What is said is simply illogical to such a student, but it leads to a correct result and many correct results ultimately lead to a good grade in mathematics.

Talented learn faster

But this is where intelligence comes into play as a beneficial fuel for a good math grade: Gifted children can often learn well and, above all, learn by heart. Therefore, they often have a better chance of concealing their lack of understanding in mathematics for longer than less gifted students. From the fifth grade at the latest, however, there will be more massive problems, because pure memorization is becoming increasingly unimportant and knowledge of the relationships between the individual topics and the understanding of number ranges are becoming increasingly important.

What creates motivation that inspires math performance?

Long-term useful motivators are:

I have it in hand: If I do something for math, I'll get better too

The wow factor: I find maths interesting and therefore like to do something for the subject

Network knowledge: New topics are put into context with areas that have already been learned, thus recognizing exciting connections.

Bad for math performance in the long term

The motivation comes from outside: I do math to get a good grade or to get the promotion

I am learning a subject in isolation to work by heart

I only study shortly before a job

The whole thing succeeds when students have understood all the necessary basics for the current topic. Only then can the positive cycle arise, through which you can experience mathematics with great fun. I experience these points every day in my work. Since we primarily allow understanding to grow in math support instead of explaining it, a basis can be created to ignite all positive motivators. The desire for mathematics and the will to move forward often grows on its own and usually very unexpectedly.

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