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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11
votes
2answers
267 views

Encourage students to strive for understanding despite looming exams

I am teaching an exercice section for a group of students who have (rather difficult and long) exams every two weeks. The students are focussed on the exams and barely willing to take the time to ...
11
votes
2answers
307 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'...
11
votes
2answers
250 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: ...
10
votes
5answers
619 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
306 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
335 views

How to overcome mathematics-related anxiety?

I'm in undergrad engineering, freshman year, in IT. I suffer anxiety when I have to do calculus. Trigonometry is just tortuous. Anyone got any tips for lessening that? I guess hard work is the best, ...
10
votes
1answer
182 views

Can we motivate undergraduates by saying they will be able to read famous papers?

I have a differential equations student who said the following (I'm paraphrasing of course): A long time ago, my math teacher told me that when I finished differential equations, I would be able to ...
10
votes
2answers
157 views

How does an advisor effectively motivate progress on an independent project?

When an excellent student is working on an honors or independent study project, the advisor's job is to not only serve as the content expert, but also to motivate the student to complete the project. ...
10
votes
2answers
267 views

Quotations of Great Mathematicians as a Source of Inspiration for Young Students

I like using quotations of great mathematicians as a source of inspiration for young students. I think even a short sentence could have a great influence on forming their research interests and point ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Examples of Good Mathematical Games for a Mathematical Olympic

As a crazy idea in a coffee break after a boring lecture I suggested my students and colleges that we can have some fun in our department by participating in a "Mathematical Olympic Games". They ...
10
votes
1answer
170 views

Can math movies help us in teaching?

There are many cinematic and documentary movies about mathematics and mathematicians in every field of mathematics. Particularly in logic, set theory and philosophy of mathematics, which are my ...
9
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9answers
4k views

How is education in Mathematics relevant to Law?

Many students who take courses in mathematics go on to pursue "non-mathematical" careers. I'm wondering, in particular, about those who go on to study Law, and how mathematics is (or can be made) ...
9
votes
6answers
437 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" ...
9
votes
6answers
912 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
237 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
165 views

Motivating student by showing them where we are heading to

Why is it so uncommon to find material that shows students how everything is connected? A recurrent question from students is why are polynomial so important? If we shown them how these are related ...
9
votes
5answers
649 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
332 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
183 views

How to read better?

In this semester I've realized that many of the problems (my) students have can be solved by reading better. The most recent example I've encountered was in the last exam; I asked them the following: ...
9
votes
4answers
492 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. ...
8
votes
3answers
535 views

Changing students' approach to math

It's been quite a while since I was tutoring a high school student and even longer since not a gifted one. However, this time, something was amiss. I have asked him to show me how he does some ...
8
votes
4answers
512 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
2answers
125 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....
8
votes
1answer
309 views

Developing and fostering a Putnam group

I teach at a smallish (~2000 undergrads) liberal arts college. The math department is small and we have only about 8-10 majors per year. As far as I know, the Putnam exam has not been offered here for ...
8
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
688 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
160 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. ...
7
votes
6answers
894 views

Why teach factorization of integers?

Why is factorization of integers important in a first number theory course at an undergraduate level? Where is factorization used in real life? Are there examples which have a real impact? I am ...
7
votes
6answers
228 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
419 views

Examples of Research Level Math Discoveries Done by Undergraduate Students

A good way for motivating young students in undergraduate level is telling them that you can do great works! Question. What are good examples of research level mathematical discoveries done by ...
7
votes
4answers
310 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
214 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
326 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
232 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,...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

How can we prevent students who are “doing okay” from slipping?

For the purposes of this question, assume that you have a student who is aiming for a B in an introductory calculus or college algebra course but plans to take many more math classes after this. Most ...
6
votes
3answers
788 views

Problem of a talented student who doesn't like to solve too much problems

Recently I have been perplexed by a non-mathematical problem. One of my Indian student-friend is preparing for the next year's IMO exam but he says that he doesn't like simply doing hard and ...
6
votes
2answers
221 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
209 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
495 views

Explaining how to study mathematics [closed]

Today on the process of explaining how to study Mathematics to my students, I said that Mathematics is just like a language. To learn a language, first we have to know its alphabet, grammar, ...
6
votes
4answers
297 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
175 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
468 views

Encourage Students to solve problems at class

I see two options in teaching mathematics to undergraduate students in social sciences. 1) I can write examples and solve them in class, and ask the students to solve them while I do. This ...
6
votes
0answers
234 views

Links between mathematical folklore and educational success

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 ...
5
votes
4answers
978 views

Motivation for practicing algebra

Background I've been studying undergraduate philosophy for the last two years. It seemed to me that philosophers could (and I suspect that many do) use mathematical methods, other than logic, to ...
5
votes
3answers
172 views

Sources for mathematics outside the mathematics world

In this question I would like to ask you about material showing the uses (or occurrences) of mathematics in the everyday world. The aim is to encourage with it a group of young undergraduate ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

Do I really love Maths? [closed]

I am a college student. I am glad to meet math as the first subject I am ridiculously interested in. But I am unable to control myself from playing cricket and counter-strike in my leisure time. There ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

What is the best way to intuitively explain, understand and approach P vs NP

P vs NP is a million dollar millenium problem. Essentially it boils down to, If it is easy to check that a solution to a problem is correct, is it also easy to solve the problem? This is the essence ...
5
votes
2answers
373 views

Show me the money

Apologies for the crass title. However, there are incentives for many children in grades (comparable to the U.S.) 3-12 to learn to do arithmetic well. (I recall Number Sense and related contests ...
5
votes
0answers
83 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. ...