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I would like to ask if, in the research field of mathematical education, some work has been done to investigate the relationship between 1) and 2):

  1. mathematical education and student motivation

  2. the great quantity of "folkloristic" writing (so to say) on trivia and anecdotes about the mathematical community (e.g. the ones collected in Mathematical Apocrypha Redux by Steven Krantz).

To be clear, I want to know if there are links between cultural stories of mathematics (which may have reached "apocryphal" status), and with student performance and/or motivation in mathematics in those cultures.

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    $\begingroup$ I've wondered if tales of absent-minded or single-minded or literal-minded mathematicians attracts the quirky (present company excepted!). $\endgroup$ – Joseph O'Rourke Dec 22 '14 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ You might see this (paywalled) and some of its sources. The citation is: Picker, S. H., & Berry, J. S. (2000). *Investigating pupils' images of mathematicians. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 43*(1), 65-94. (Also: You might check other studies that cite it.) $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Dec 23 '14 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ Another place you might look would be in Mathematical People: Profiles and Interviews to see how different mathematicians talk about their early inspiration. $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Dickman Dec 25 '14 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ I would say, accompanying parents to a grocery store, counting oncoming cars or figuring out whether contents of a round pot fits a square glass container is more productive than reading "folkloristic anecdotes". $\endgroup$ – Rusty Core Jan 7 at 5:30

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