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John Mighton

John Mighton is a mathematician, author, playwright and the founder of JUMP Math, a charity dedicated to helping people fulfil their potential in math. John has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow, awarded four honorary doctorates for his lifetime achievements and appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. John is the author of "The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child" and "The End of Ignorance". John published articles on education for Scientific American Mind and The Notices of the American Mathematical Society. John has given keynotes at the Aspen Brain Forum and the Conference on Brain Development and Learning.

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For-profit Social Enterprise
Education and Skills; Social Innovation
Areas of Impact
North America, Europe, Spain, USA, Canada


JUMP Math, which stands for Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigy, starts with the premise that “all children can learn math, all teachers can teach math, and both can and should enjoy it.” JUMP's revolutionary math curriculum draws on the latest breakthroughs in cognitive science research and combines guided exercises with independent work that breaks down difficult concepts into simple, logical steps. This methodology allows students to experience the positive reinforcement they need to encourage further learning while giving teachers the tools they need to accomplish the nearly impossible task of teaching to the entire class while tailoring lessons to individual student’s needs.

Currently, the JUMP Math curriculum is taught to over 170,000 students across Canada (including 20% of on-reserve indigenous students) and 25,000 students in the US. Some 70% of JUMP Math's earned income is derived from textbook sales and 30% from teacher training. Major grantors include the Gates Foundation, Fundacion Telefonica, and LIFT Philanthropy Partners.

Whereas in the early years JUMP Math spread largely by word of mouth from enthusiastic teachers, the organization is now negotiating contracts school board by school board and is poised to scale dramatically in 2018. A randomized control trial into the cognitive effectiveness of JUMP's curriculum performed by Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children found that the mathematical knowledge of children in the JUMP programme grew twice as much as the knowledge of children receiving standard math instruction. A second randomized controlled trial, funded by the US Department of Education, also showed positive results, which will be released in 2018. JUMP is working with and recognized by leading cognitive scientists, has been featured in Scientific American, and has been highlighted at the Aspen Brain Forum. A social return on investment model for JUMP Math indicates an estimated return of $17 for every $1 invested. The curriculum is already being piloted in diverse countries, including Spain, Bulgaria and Ireland.