Abstract by Tami Stark
Engaging Problem Context: From Students\' Perspectives
Too many students have negative feelings towards mathematics (Nardi &Steward, 2003). Students are disengaging with matheamtics because it is not viewed as realistic, worthwhile, enjoyable or motivating. This has led to student under-achievement. Students and researchers argue for these characteristics to be more present in mathematics classrooms. While research informs us that students and researchers desire these characteristics to be more prevalent in the mathematics classroom, research has yet to inform us on when students perceive context as being realistic, worthwhile, enjoyable and /or motivating. This study looks at students' perspectives of probem context to ascertain when students see mathematics problems in these ways as well as other possible characteristics that make mathematics context more engaging. Based on student input, I inform teachers and curriculum writers on what to include/exclude in problem context in order to help students be more engaged with the context.