ERIC Number: EJ923241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
In Their Own Words: Getting Pumped for Calculus
Cardetti, Fabiana; McKenna, P. J.
PRIMUS, v21 n4 p351-363 2011
By understanding what motivates students to learn mathematics, instructors can adapt their teaching strategies to help students achieve a level of engagement conducive to learning mathematics. There is a substantial body of research on motivations and academic achievement at the elementary and high school levels, but less is known at the college level. This article is a first step toward filling this gap by discussing college students' perceptions of what motivates them to learn mathematics. Our findings are based on the analysis of the students' journal writings about this topic. The analysis revealed the following six main motivation themes: (a) intrinsic satisfaction, (b) bribery, (c) competition, (d) fear and the adrenaline surge, (e) learning through sharing, and (f) approval from family and peers. The article includes a discussion of the findings, as well as recommendations for instructional practices that promote the different motivations described by the students. Areas for further research are also suggested.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Learning Motivation, Calculus, Teaching Methods, Student Motivation, Mathematics Instruction, Competition, Anxiety, Fear, Cooperative Learning, Peer Influence, Family Influence, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A