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Questions tagged [psychology]

For questions about psychological background of mathematical education.

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43 votes
24 answers

Response to Students Who Say "This Is Not Important"

Lately, my students keep telling me why what we are learning is not important. They ask me when will we use this in the real world? I explain how math is important in gambling, cooking, finance, ...
W. G.'s user avatar
  • 635
42 votes
3 answers

What does math education research know about difficulty vs. effectiveness?

I've asked basically the same question previously on on math.SE, then cogsci.SE without much response, surely here is the place to ask this. As anecdotal evidence is plentiful, but unfortunately ...
user avatar
27 votes
2 answers

What methods successfully identify and eliminate severe math anxiety?

What methods are effective in identifying and eliminating severe math anxiety, this most terrible and unfortunate part of modern mathematics education? This question is not about ordinary math anxiety ...
John's user avatar
  • 1,127
21 votes
10 answers

Inner voice when reading mathematics

I am writing some notes for my students, and am curious about how others read mathematics: do you have an inner voice when reading mathematics? What about when you come across a symbol which you don't ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 311
16 votes
4 answers

Policies and practices for supporting students in crisis

I have noticed a common pattern followed by many students in crisis: They experience a crisis or setback (injury, illness, tragedy, etc) This causes them to miss a lot of class. They may stay away ...
Steven Gubkin's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers

Calculation versus writing in mathematics

Writing mathematics is an important activity of the mathematician. In trying to write one's mathematics, one finds ways to balance intuition and rigor and to efficiently communicate concepts and ideas ...
Jon Bannon's user avatar
  • 6,173
14 votes
7 answers

A smart student that struggles in exams

I am tutoring a grade 8 student that failed his math exam, but surprisingly it seems that he is more than smart enough: he understands everything I say really quickly, and he knows most of the ideas ...
Fareed Abi Farraj's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers

Is there an evidence that learning mathematics influences our characters?

I am teaching mathematics for elementary school (even playgroup) to university students. Most of my students think of mathematics might not be necessary for them. I have an hypothesis that learning ...
kiss my armpit's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers

Summary of the mechanism of reification

The concept of "reification" in mathematics education is interesting. Roughly, if I understand this correctly, one "reifies" processes into mathematical objects. Very recently, it occurred to me that ...
Jon Bannon's user avatar
  • 6,173
10 votes
5 answers

Advantages on repeating question in student's answer

I see a lot of students who repeat the whole question (i.e., before starting with anything which has some content, they write down all assumptions, claims, etc.) in their answers in homework or exams. ...
Markus Klein's user avatar
  • 9,438
7 votes
3 answers

Can music improve math abilities?

This question is inspired by a set of questions at the end of Timothy Gowers' book: Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2002. The possible relation between mathematics ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

Polya's "Nearby Problem" Heuristic and Inquiry Based Learning

I've often wondered about the "devise a plan" part of Polya's "How to solve it" outline. What we call "problem solving" can be thought of as what to do when you have no idea what to do. From this ...
Jon Bannon's user avatar
  • 6,173
7 votes
1 answer

Research into how students read algebraic expressions

In answering another question What is the justification to teach the (redundant) use of parentheses in multiplications? I was left wondering what we actually know about students' progression in terms ...
TomKern's user avatar
  • 4,425
5 votes
1 answer

Learning vs. Development in Practice as a Math Educator

As a math educator, do you distinguish between the concepts of "learning" and "development?" If so, what is the distinction for you? What would you say the consequences of this distinction are to ...
JPBurke's user avatar
  • 7,463
5 votes
1 answer

Erasing students' work - etiquette/guidelines?

What are some guidelines on erasing students' work such as on a chalkboard/whiteboard in a classroom or on paper in a private tutorial class? Usually this is for the parts of maths that involves ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 574
4 votes
3 answers

self-reliance and psychology in learning math

It's hard to be more descriptive with the title without making it excessively long. What I'm wondering is this: what is the "right attitude" or "right psychology" when confronted with a mathematical ...
isthisreallife's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers

Do we need to practice equation derivation while learning math if equations will be chunked and automatized?

When I was learning the Pythagorean theorem(at time A), I was just told to memorize it. I used it often before trying to derive the equation(at time B), and I think actually I have forgotten the ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers

Problem solving approach to learning and psychology

I try to have a problem solving approach to learning math. What i mean by this is if someone sets some questions or problems regarding the material i am reading how should i answer or what questions ...
plants's user avatar
  • 159