Questions tagged [student-motivation]

For questions concerning the motivation of students and helping them to motivate for their study in general.

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9
votes
1answer
123 views

Motivation vs. Rigor

This is such a vague topic that I hesitate to post. I constantly struggle between the time-tradeoff between motivating a topic, and delving into the rigorous details necessary to fully "grok" the ...
10
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2answers
281 views

How to stay interested in less-tangible math

I've graduated high school and I am joining college soon. The problem with me is that I'm not finding less tangible math interesting at all. Some people find abstract math to be very beautiful, and I'...
5
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3answers
218 views

Complex numbers and encourage justification

In remedial algebra, we learn that the graph of $y=(\sqrt x)^2$ is only in the first quadrant. We know this is the correct graph for the equation. This is because we know $y=x$ and $x \ge 0$. However,...
0
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1answer
179 views

Future in mathematics

My sibling is done with high school and has always scored A in Maths and am not in position to advise her on the future in line of her niche. She's not yet in university and she's in her vacation but ...
8
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3answers
212 views

How to motivate students to do proofs?

I am finding it difficult to motivate students on why they should how to prove mathematical results. They learn them just to pass examinations but show no real interest or enthusiasm for this. How can ...
7
votes
4answers
297 views

How to deal with students who object to me teaching material that won't be in the exam?

I sometimes encounter students who ask questions like 'Why are we learning this if it won't be on the exam?' If there is time to spare I like to teach interesting applications or natural extensions of ...
4
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1answer
90 views

Making modular arithmetic interesting for school kids

This is a pattern even school kids could discover (when gently pointed to). I never did conciously, and cannot remember to have been pointed to explicitly, neither at school nor later: $$\color{red}{\...
2
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3answers
198 views

Math Anxiety get in the way of my Graduate School, I want to continue PhD

Probably it's just another advice-seeking CS student about math.. Well. I have math anxiety. Im a CS student, back then in undergrad I deal with code everyday, as long as my program work smoothly, i'm ...
7
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7answers
553 views

List of realistic extremum problems

I am a student who would like to become a teacher, so I am currently following courses in education. One of the things I learned, is that students like authentic, realistic problems. However, much of ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Encouraging students to learn probability

Background: I’m not exactly a Math educator, but I’m currently a TA of an elementary algebra course aiming at students of age 14-15. I found that a lot of people have misconception about probability ...
49
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13answers
8k views

How to get past the “mystique” of Maths

This question is primarily discussing maths education for adult learners, on courses teaching engineering mathematics at an undergraduate level. These students generally never set out specifically to ...
30
votes
4answers
762 views

How can I help a student who has a “wrong” kind of enthusiasm?

Alice (not real name) is a student in one of my Math 100 (calculus) classes. It's a course offered by my college as a dual credit course at a high school, so the whole class is about 17/18 years old, ...
3
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2answers
113 views

Project with transformation geometry

I am working on a unit plan dealing with tranformation geometry level secondary education. Students do enjoy creating those visual transformation but I am trying to figure out what could be a nice ...
15
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13answers
2k views

Mnemonics for some properties in mathematics

I am looking for various mnemonics which help students to remember some important properties or theorems. Very often students confuse signs or relations such as $\leq$ and $\geq$ in some expressions. ...
4
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2answers
111 views

Make a matrix algebra course (1st university year) more “project-based”

Among other courses, I'm teaching a (basic) matrix algebra course for 1st year university students (they are studying Economics, and the cursus leads them to management, finance, or econometrics in ...
7
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6answers
212 views

Neat topics or problems to include in a probability class

I'd like to get suggestions for neat topics or problems to include in an undergraduate, upper division Introduction to Probability class. Many people have taught probability for many years and I'm ...
28
votes
3answers
905 views

Teaching undergraduates who expect a high-school-like learning environment

tl;dr: Some students expect to be told "what's on the test", to memorize and then move on. What can be done to change how they learn while teaching them what to learn? Context: Introductory, ...
19
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5answers
329 views

Should I tell my students that math is hard for me?

I have read and heard from some other instructors that they attempt to encourage students who find math hard by saying "math is hard for me too, in fact it's hard for everyone!" I have tried this a ...
9
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6answers
814 views

What are the reasons for “math fear”?

I perceive that among the general population the belief that mathematics is some sort of highly intellectual esoteric subject is still quite prevalent. After studying math proper I've discovered that ...
8
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2answers
166 views

Problem based learning (PBL) for pupils with educational difficulties

I taught IT in an engineering school during three years in problem based learning (PBL) only. Now I teach maths to pupils between 10 and 15 years old who have a lot of educational difficulties. I'm ...
10
votes
5answers
302 views

Drumming up interest in journal-problem-solving and competition prep

I teach at a small liberal-arts college and advise our Math Club. In past years, I have talked a few students into taking the Putnam Exam. I've found that I pretty much have to "coerce" them into ...
5
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0answers
81 views

Should I pursue math or physics as a career? [closed]

If I studied laplace transforms, fourier analysis, multivariable calculus, differential equations, partial differential equations by 9th grade, does that mean I have talent for math or for physics. ...
8
votes
2answers
123 views

How to retain the key points of an exercise?

I'm a student majoring in maths. The sole reason I chose mathematics is that I like mathematics. I'm sure I do not belong to that "gifted" category. I haven't participated in maths competitions either....
7
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2answers
207 views

How to catch students from different subjects' interest to math?

I have just started to teach Calculus to freshmans and sophomores who study non-mathematical subjects, e.g., international relations, psychology. They have to take few mathematics classes -including ...
12
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4answers
294 views

Teaching new stats students confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and other general techniques for inference

I have instructed for community colleges and adjuncted for major universities for just over fifteen years now. In all my time doing this job, I've found that the worst manifestation of so-called "...
7
votes
3answers
157 views

Younger student worried about upcoming mathematics

I have just turned 18 and am in calculus BC (calc 1 & calc 2). I most certainly grasp and understand the concepts of calc 1 however every once in a while a I seem to struggle with the calc 2 work. ...
9
votes
6answers
401 views

Motivation in School

I live in Brazil and here we have some problems with teaching mathematics in High School. In some point of the students' life (I think it happens in the 5th grade), they start "hating mathematics" ...
2
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0answers
80 views

Finding the correct mathmatics based on application as opposed to the other way around?

I just tried to pitch a Math Recommendations site, and it was shot down because it is too broad and that Stack Exchange sites operate on a separation of concerns principle; which makes sense to me but ...
13
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4answers
500 views

What are some recent, interesting, accessible pieces of mathematics

Mathematics can come across as a sterile, dead subject - a catalogue of techniques long-ago decided, and forever relearned by each successive generation of students. This is approximately true for ...
6
votes
2answers
174 views

Calculus I known material, getting students engaged

I'm currently teaching Calculus I problem solving sessions for college freshmen. The problem is that the majority of students have studied the material in high school (what's a function, even/odd, ...
13
votes
5answers
555 views

How to get through the boring stuff?

It frequently happens that there's some material I have to cover which is, frankly, boring. The subject itself may be boring, or it may be the particular exercises, but in any case I have to get ...
9
votes
4answers
521 views

Everyday Example Problems for Solving Linear and Quadratic Equations

I am going to teach some grade 9 students about solving linear and quadratic equations. I am looking for a question from every day life (of a teenager) or a puzzle which is hard to solve without using ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

Providing interesting problems for all students in heterogeneous groups

Sometimes students from different programmes take the same course together. They may have a different background and/or different interests in the course. One example could be a basic mathematics ...
9
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4answers
403 views

How can I implement the principles of deliberate practise in my mathematical studies?

I have been reading a lot of books about deliberate practise recently like Angela Duckworth's "Grit", "Talent is Overrated" - Colvin and "Peak" - Ericsson and Pool. I want to apply these principles. ...
25
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7answers
1k views

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

I teach to predominantly non-majors in college algebra, precalculus, and calculus. How can one possibly incentivize or rationalize assigning practice problems outside of class when this software is ...
8
votes
4answers
509 views

I'm a self learner, what are some ways that I can compensate for the lack of a study group?

I am teaching myself mathematics, and I don't really know anyone who is interested in mathematics. I find that the hardest part about teaching myself is that I am lacking the social aspect of being in ...
8
votes
3answers
315 views

Is it appropriate to assign an extra credit homework question on the “next” session?

I am a new teacher teaching mathematics (College Algebra, Calculus, etc.) in a college. My wife has made an interesting suggestion that I would like to have a discussion here: Is it appropriate to ...
6
votes
2answers
210 views

Motivating Mathematics Movies

A teacher has recently asked me to provide some suggestions for math movies to screen for a set of high school seniors. My first inclination was Flatland before I decided to do some basic searching. I ...
22
votes
13answers
3k views

What books are like Knuth's Surreal Numbers?

I'm looking to find more examples of books which bridge the gap between "story" and "mathematics" using narrative and all those other wonderful features we might find in Harry Potter or some other ...
15
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1answer
1k views

The general and particular in the psychology of mathematics education

Many students I have spoken with who are drawn to becoming mathematics teachers chose their mathematics major because they enjoyed doing routine exercises in high school. The comfort of a definite and ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

How to work with polynomials in difficult classes?

I am currently teaching a very difficult class, with young people (16 years old) who are deeply unmotivated and restless. I should work with them with polynomials, but I'm having a troublesome time; ...
22
votes
3answers
449 views

How to teach perseverance?

I have found that when I give problems that require multiple steps or ideas to solve, students often give up quickly and come to office hours begging for hints. Sometimes I break up such problems ...
11
votes
2answers
817 views

How early to start “abstract” math education, or, How to prevent smart kids from never getting exposed to math?

Everybody who is in graduate mathematics had a moment where they realized that mathematics was "their thing", and they decided to dedicate their academic career to it. I don't know of many people who ...
11
votes
2answers
247 views

How to motivate 'Theory of Computation'?

I am teaching Theory of Computation for the first time soon, and need a short introduction and justification to motivate students who have only Introductory Programming behind them. I am torn between: ...
9
votes
5answers
609 views

Problem-Solving Activities that Engage Low-Level Students?

I'm going to be starting teaching a course called algebra COE, which is for students who didn't pass the required state algebra exam to graduate and are now seniors, to do spaced-out exam-like ...
6
votes
4answers
283 views

Generating motivation for an incoming 14 year-old IB student

I'm a one-time academic mathematician, used to teaching smart undergraduates who made the choice to be in my classes. You can also find me overactively answering questions on Mathematics SE. ...
6
votes
2answers
202 views

Examples where roots are necessary for the solution

I currently write an article where I want to introduce roots. Thus I need to motivate them. Here I said, they can be used to find solutions of equations like $x^n=a$. Now I want to make some examples, ...
13
votes
3answers
226 views

Counterexamples to “stable digit” theory of error estimates

When covering issues related to error estimates in a calculus course, students find the technique of making estimates (definition of limit, Newton's method, numerical integration, remainder formula ...
29
votes
14answers
8k views

Justifications for: Why learn mathematics?

I wonder how you teachers walk the line between justifying mathematics because of its many—and sometimes surprising—applications, and justifying it as the study of one of the great ...
9
votes
4answers
319 views

Ideas for math problem solving class for undergraduate students in university

In our university there is a huge gap between two group of students. a group of them came from Math Olympiad competitions and have a very strong background from high school but others, they have just ...