"I did use to like maths...": emotional changes towards mathematics during secondary school education

2017-02-16T11:35:00Z (GMT) by Paul Hernandez-Martinez Maria Pampaka
This chapter seeks to explore the role of emotions in students’ dispositions towards mathematics throughout their Secondary School education. Drawing on data from a recent, mixed methods longitudinal study in England we first illustrate how the concept of emotions relates to that of mathematics dispositions from a measurement perspective and then provide evidence of a clear decline in these dispositions. Further qualitative evidence shows the intrinsic role of emotions in this decline: many students expressed negative emotions towards pedagogic practices that are common in secondary mathematics education. In contrast, positive emotions were expressed in relation to pedagogies that encourage diversity of practices, often linked to a social, “relaxed” atmosphere; but these practices were scarce. The challenge is then for institutions and teachers to develop environments that allow students a variety of experiences with mathematics that facilitate socialising and connecting of mathematics to their interests, aspirations and ways of being.