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Young Children’s Emotional Acts While Engaged in Mathematical Problem Solving

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Abstract

Several authors in this book have eloquently argued that affective issues in mathematics teaching and learning have long been under-represented themes in research. Our interest in the emotional acts of teachers and children is due in part to Doug McLeod’s gentle prodding. In addition, we have recently conducted a teaching experiment in a second-grade classroom for an entire school year. We and others observed that many “nice things” happen in this classroom. The children were generally excited about doing mathematics, were very persistent, did not become frustrated, frequently experienced joy when they completed solutions to personally challenging problems, and did not evidence either embarrassment or jealousy. These observations contrast with the findings of Goodlad’s (1983) study of over 1,000 classrooms. He concluded that “affect—either positive or negative—was virtually absent. What we observed could only be described as neutral, or perhaps ‘flat’”(p. 467). In fact, the emotional tone of the classroom we observed seemed to contribute substantially to the favorable opinions of the mathematics instruction formed by classroom observers such as parents, other teachers, and administrators. At a minimum, the nurturing of positive emotional experiences for children would seem to have immediate propaganda value.

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Cobb, P., Yackel, E., Wood, T. (1989). Young Children’s Emotional Acts While Engaged in Mathematical Problem Solving. In: McLeod, D.B., Adams, V.M. (eds) Affect and Mathematical Problem Solving. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3614-6_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4612-3614-6_9

  • Publisher Name: Springer, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4612-8178-8

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