BYU

Abstract by Tamara Stark

Personal Infomation


Presenter's Name

Tamara Stark

Co-Presenters

None

Degree Level

Masters

Co-Authors

None

Abstract Infomation


Department

Mathematics Education

Faculty Advisor

Steven Jones

Title

Affect and Useful Mathematics

Abstract

“A 2005 Associated Press poll showed that nearly 40% of the adults surveyed said that they had hated mathematics in school…twice as many people said that they hated mathematics as said that about any other subject.” (Phillip, 2007, p. 257). There is a long-standing effort to get students more interested in and excited about mathematics (i.e., positive affect). Likewise, there is a long-standing effort to help students see classroom mathematics as useful through real-world application problems. “For too many students and teachers, mathematics bears little useful relationship to their world” (Smith & Thompson, 2008, p. 96). I hypothesize that perceptions of usefulness are related to positive attitudes toward mathematics. I describe a study that will examine how usefulness and positive affect are connected.  More specifically, this study will address the question, when students see an application problem as useful and realistic, how does it affect their interest in, enjoyment of, and motivation towards mathematics?