Students Motivation in Mathematics

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Introduction:

Literacy and numeracy is an integral part of education and forms the basis when students enter into practical life irrespective of the field they may choose.  Especially when it comes to a technical field its importance becomes even greater as a student who adept in literacy and numeracy stands a far better chance of doing well as compared to a person who lacks or does not have the necessary skills.

Every person in the community - parents, teachers, government or any other stakeholder - has a duty to ensure that the upcoming generation is fully equipped with numeracy and literacy and to create its awareness amongst the students and anyone who wants to attain a certain degree of proficiency in it.

 First of all we should learn about these words because this is the basic foundation of education. Literacy is integral to effective learning, teaching and assessing in all areas of curriculum. There are four factors given below:

1.      Literacy learning,

2.       Literacy leadership

3.       Literacy in curriculum and

4.      Literacy in teaching  

Numeracy is integral to effective learning in all years of schooling and in all areas of learning. It has also four parts:

1. Understanding numeracy

2. Teaching knowledge and pedagogy

3. Numeracy across the curriculum

4. Numeracy leadership.

The government has developed a series of new initiatives and resources to support on-going improvement in the literacy and numeracy outcomes for all Victorians students.

Generally in all subject areas especially in mathematics this is a great challenge for teachers because every classroom consist of different types of students and, most students do not relate mathematics to everyday life and find it irrelevant. This can be solved by teachers relating their class work/topic to practical situation on day today life. Teachers should not just teach from text book but should include some activities in the class on everyday life which involve concrete materials for those students who are experiencing difficulty in understanding the concepts.  Howard  Gardner  proposed theory of multiple intelligence in 1983 which support the above statements' and solves the problems of catering for the need of different students of all subjects especially in  math , and understanding of all possible solution for the coming generation in  Literacy and numeracy problems.  Dr. Howard Gardner says, "I want my children to understand the world, but not just because the world is fascinating and the human mind is curious. I want them to understand it so that they will be positioned to make it a better place. Knowledge is not the same as morality, but we need to understand if we are to avoid past mistakes and move in productive directions. An important part of that understanding knows who we are and what we can do. Ultimately, we must synthesize our understandings for ourselves. The performance of understanding that try matters are the ones we carry out as human beings in an imperfect world which we can affect for good or for all. (Howard Gardner 1999: 180-181)" (I should give Dr Howard Reference here at the end I have given at the Reference page).

Gardner, Howard (1983; 1993) Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, New York: Basic Books. The second edition was published in Britain by Fontana Press. 466 + xxix pages.

 

Multiple Intelligence (MI)

 

Definition: It can be defined as the full range of abilities and talent that people possess. Another definition is the ability to learn about, learn from, understand, and interact with one's environment. This general ability consists of a number of specific abilities. (I put this Reference also in the end).

Resource:

http://psychology.about.com/b/2010/02/15/multiple-intelligences-psychology-definition-of-the-week.htm

(I put the reference in the last also I should put the References here as well)

Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2009.

According to Dr. Howard Gardner there are eight points which based on multiple intelligence theory are given bellow.

Linguistic intelligence:  It is the ability to learn language spoken and written.

Logical-mathematical intelligence: It is the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and mathematical thinking.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: It is the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements.

Spatial intelligence: Such type of intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.

Musical intelligence: The skill which involves the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns.

Interpersonal intelligence: It is the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people.

Naturalist Intelligence: The ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature.

If we see more deeply Dr. Howard's theory of Multiple Intelligence it is being now implemented into teaching and learning practices across the continents, because it is appropriate theory and very suitable for learning style. In all educational institutions, this theory is given very importance because of its standard; the teachers are very fond of it. The educational institutions adopting this theory have progressed rapidly.

Every student is different according to their learning style and understanding power. Multiple intelligence is one of those theories which fulfill the condition of individual learning styles such as music, spatial relations, or interpersonal etc. Teaching, learning and assessment with MI will allow a broader range of children to successfully participate in classroom learning in the given diagram it will be clearer.

 

Resource:

http://www.etwinmaths.blogspot.com/ assess 17/10/10 (I have given this Reference at the end)

 

MI theory in classroom

This theory is very effective in the classroom when the students belong to different cultural, social, economic groups and interests. The teachers can create awareness among these students to create their individual intelligence profiles.

 These entire factors can affect the students learning process, but how should teacher face such diversity in the classroom?  Now the 'traditional' classroom tends to treat students as a homogeneous group, with the teacher presenting the same exercises to all students at the same time, and expecting the same answers to be produced within similar time limits. Students are expected to absorb the knowledge presented by the teacher with a strong emphasis on the use of language and logical-mathematical analysis. Most academic knowledge is presented for learning by means of an extremely limited methodology and the acquisition of that knowledge is evaluated by means of rote tests, whereby the best grades are assigned to students who demonstrate the greatest ability for memorization. In the given circle diagram there are three sectors teachers, students and learning objectives. It shows that what the responsibility of teacher and students is. As Gardner says that "The basic needs of teachers as they try to create more inclusive, affective and effective instruction. These basic teaching needs are primarily related to promoting understanding and appreciation among students, to creating classrooms where learners experience a sense of loving and belonging, to issues of fostering pupils' esteem, personal intellectual empowerment and self-motivation, and to helping teachers achieve more diversified instructional techniques. Simply, MI Theory has taken hold in classrooms across the United States because it helps educators meet the needs of many different types of learners easily, and because it reflects teachers' and parents' deeply rooted philosophical beliefs that all children possess gifts and that part of the most important mission of schools is to foster positive personal development. Thus, teachers understanding and using MI theory, and its related educational frameworks and explanations of diversity, are being transformed into teachers who understand human patterns, human diversity and human learning at better, deeper, and more comprehensive levels."

Gardner (1983, 1993) (I also gave this reference in the at the end but I should put here as well

http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/mi/wilson1.htm( I have given the Reference at the end)

Multiple Intelligence (MI) in Mathematics

In our day to day life math   has very important role. Reading time on a watch, rounding a date on a calendar, checking up the mileage of car, halting at the filling station, attending to a roll call at school, getting scores in the class exams, scoring in a game, betting on a horse race, preparing a recipe in the kitchen, - the list is just endless if one goes on to note down the situations when our computational skill, or more specifically, simple mathematics comes to play a role. It scares us to certain extent to think of a life without any knowledge of mathematics. In many a case, lack

 

of a formal education hardly affects gaining a relative mastery in these computational skills which are so essential in our daily life.

 

  

Resource:

http://etwinmaths.blogspot.com/(The source was missed before)

 

Resource:

http://eleed.campussource.de/archive/6/2543/   Date assesses 16/10/10 (I also mention the Reference in page 9 but I should put here as well)

There are three sectors in the circle

The content of the inner circles is based on pedagogical principles, while the outer circle specifies how the pedagogical principles may be implemented with technology. The circle's centre is dedicated to the subject taught, ensuring focus on the specific subject's properties. The three sectors represent the student, the teacher and the learning objectives)

 

Many students do not like math and consider that it exists only in classroom but not in real life.

Multiple Intelligences Power up Math Teaching. Results are still flowing in from the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) that examined the curricula, student performance, and teaching styles of math and science programs in fifty countries. Students are guided and encouraged to build up meaning as they participate in activities.

The use of the various intelligences, even Gardner's latest, the naturalist intelligence, with its sorting, naming and classifying strengths, creates more of a sense of total involvement with a problem. It gains relevance to a student with certain intelligence strengths, and the number relationships make sense. Compare this broader experience to the usual way this problem would be taught by, for instance, reading the problem, having students try it, showing a fraction calculation on the board, and moving on. An awareness of such intelligence can be kept bushes coming in math class and that can include students who otherwise might drift off when only talk or calculations are being offered.

Many web side of ICT math game puzzle math quest math300 etc in which are showing interest and due to these web site the students interest increase in mathematics.

Resource:

http://ustimss.msu.edu/info.html (was missing)

http://www.maths300.esa.edu.au/    date asses 21/10/10 (I have given at the end)

 

 How to motivate students in mathematics subject

Motivation generally in all subject and specially in mathematics is a great a challenge for all teachers because every classroom consist of different types of students, each student brings with them different student learning styles, different  interests, and different life experiences that make each classroom unique and special.

There are many strategies to motivate students; some of these are given below:

1.         Expectations.  Teachers should set reasonable objectives from every lesson given to their students.

2.         Success.  Motivate students by showing them that they can be successful in the classroom.

3.         Relevance.  Show students how what they are learning matters in real life.

4.         Engaging Questions.  Lead in with questions and encourage students to discuss the topic by   bringing what they know about the topic.

5.         Incorporate different learning styles.  Use a variety of teaching strategies in the classroom.

6.         Rewards and Privileges.  Rewards and privileges are great motivational tools for hard work. 

            Resource:

http://www.howtodothings.com/education/a1892-how-to-motivate-students.html  assess on 16/10/10 (at the end)

Strategies for students with math difficulties:

 

1.         To 'visualize' math problems, draw picture, graph and chart so students can easily understand   the problem.

2.         The mathematical problem can be repeated again and again and make sure that students are    concentrated, listen carefully and look at any visual information that may be provided (picture, chart, graph, etc.).

4.         For such types of students, always try to explain example with the help of diagram if possible.

5.         Always ask students that they should think of real life situation if such type of problems exists.

7.         Ask for uncluttered worksheets so that you are not overwhelmed by too much visual information.

8.         Math is the only subject which needs more and more practice, so give more time to students for memorizing mathematical facts.

9.         Attention deficits:   Student has difficulty maintaining attention to steps in algorithms or problem solving  so  student has difficulty sustaining attention to critical instruction (e.g., teacher modeling).

10.       Visual-spatial deficits:  Student loses place on the worksheet and also has difficulty differentiating between numbers.

11.       Writing problem: Student has difficulty writing across the paper in a straight line.

12.       Directional problem: Student has difficulty relating to directional aspects of math, for example, in problems

            Involving up-down (e.g., addition), left-right (regrouping), and aligning of numbers.

13.       Auditory-processing difficulties: Student has difficulty doing oral drills.

            Student is unable to count on from within a sequence.

14.       Memory problems:  Student is unable to retain math facts or new information, because student forgets steps in an algorithm and performs poorly on review lessons or mixed probes.

            Resource:

http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/mi/wahl.htm  assess on 17/10/10 (Also given at the end)

 Strategies for teacher on how to enable students overcome

math difficulties  

 

Looking at how teachers and students use mathematical language in classrooms and how they organize instruction is another area of research that can be helpful to teachers of ELLs. There has been more interest in classroom discourse since the math reform movement of the 1990s, because part of that reform movement included putting a much greater emphasis on ensuring that students are able to explain their reasoning, their use of strategies, and their solutions. Researchers are exploring questions such as whether and how collaborative learning facilitates of math learning, whether and how teachers and students use mathematical language in classrooms, and how teachers' beliefs affect the way they organize their classrooms.

Teachers must know what they need to do to be effective, and how to do it, and have the support they need to do it. Future articles will look more closely at the academic language of math and how teachers can address the particular difficulties ELLs have with the language of math, and at teaching strategies that can help improve the effectiveness of math teaching for ELLs.

Resource:

http://www.coursecrafters.com/ELL-Outlook/2007/mar_apr/ELLOutlookITIArticle1.htm  assess date 17/10/10 (given at the end)

 

Conclusion:

 

The MI Theory (Dr. Howard) is suitable right from the very childhood till the University level or even higher. It fulfills the condition of intelligence. Anyone following the eight sections of MI can become a very successful person. The same stands true for any institution which can include a school, university or a business organization. Even in research the MI Theory holds an elevated position.

According to MI theory the intelligences are surprisingly flexible and can make use of various senses, parts of the brain, and chance opportunities. (Even the blind can develop spatial intelligence.)

 The intelligences follow characteristic patterns of development in childhood, yet those patterns are diverse enough to prohibit one from prescribing a set pathway by which children should develop. While these intelligences appear in cultures all over the world, different cultures value them differently. Each of the these intelligences is relatively independent of the others, but they do not often appear separate, because they usually work together and may be understood as separate only after observing many instances of their combined effort.

 

From a teaching point of view, the important thing is that teachers elect to base their teaching on specific course books or select and use such types of classroom activities that can cater for the intelligence profiles of their particular learner group. It is more important for teachers to recognize the fact that learners are in fact different and therefore may need different types of classroom activities and techniques in order to learn. Only in doing so can teachers fully encourage their learners to try harder and at the same time make the learning environment as meaningful and enjoyable as possible for all parties involved.

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