Mathematics and its Connection to the Arts and Sciences

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    Abstract til oplæg:

    Contributing to students’ perception of relevance and application of mathematics by focusing on students’ mathematics-related beliefs.

    There seems to be a connection between students’ general perception of mathematics as irrelevant and isolated from other subjects and a schema or algorithm oriented approach to mathematics. This approach involves perceiving mathematics as a tool, a set of formulas or procedures to be followed in order to reach the right result, or even as a set of rules to be memorized just to be able to pass a test (Grigutsch, 1998).

    Such an approach to mathematics is related to negative beliefs about mathematics, and combined with the apprehension that good mathematical skills are a sign of intelligence, the schema oriented approach can even be connected to low self-efficacy or self-esteem in mathematics (Malmivuori, 1996) with the risk of having psychological consequences by leading to mathematics anxiety. This again can cause self-protecting beliefs about mathematics as irrelevant or impossible to learn (Goldin, Rösken & Törner, 2009).

    By combining the Autonomous Learning Behavior Model (Fennema, 1989) and the Cycle of Mathematics Avoidance (Preis & Biggs, 2001) in the Model of Self-Reinforcing Effect of Negative Mathematics-Related Beliefs, I present how negative beliefs about mathematics can be self-reinforcing. These beliefs can be very difficult to change, especially if they are developed as a defence mechanism in order to protect oneself from feeling worthless or unintelligent.

    I therefore argue that it is essential to focus on the development of students’ beliefs in mathematics education, particularly about mathematics as a discipline, in order to enhance the students’ apprehension of the role and use of mathematics in the world and to emphasize the interdisciplinary possibilities of mathematics. Working with mathematics-related beliefs as a goal can provide the relevance and motivation for students to change their negative beliefs about mathematics as well as broaden their perspective in other subjects.

    Periode27 jun. 201729 jun. 2017
    PlaceringKøbenhavn, Danmark
    Grad af anerkendelseInternational


    • Læring, pædagogik og undervisning
    • læringsadfærd