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“[He] Has Impaired Vision Due to Overworking”: Students’ Views About Mathematicians

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Theorizing and Measuring Affect in Mathematics Teaching and Learning

Abstract

This article presents Turkish lower secondary school students’ (grades–8, aged 12–15) views about mathematicians and their work through examining their drawings on the Draw a Mathematician Test. A content analysis of 254 student drawings revealed that students have narrow stereotypical views. The most common patterns that emerged in the drawings were that mathematicians predominantly: are male; work in an office/room; engage in solving Numbers or Algebra questions; are quite focused or dedicated; and use a whiteboard or books as the tools of the profession. These perceptions may be relevant in Turkey where the transition from lower secondary to secondary schools depends on a large degree on students’ scores on nationwide standardized tests. To be placed in relatively good schools, students practice hundreds of mathematics questions either at the school or after-school times. One of the negative consequences of these exams has been that students associate mathematics with mainly numbers and arithmetic and the work of mathematicians with performing calculations or practicing textbook questions. Changing the way of learning mathematics from drill and practice of number facts and computational manipulations to a more problem and experiential way of learning may reduce students’ current erroneous perceptions and nurture more representative views in them about mathematics and mathematicians.

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Acknowledgements

I wish to acknowledge the students and teachers who participated in, and the Directorate of National Education which supported implementation of the study. I also thank A/Prof Bulent Cetinkaya for his contributions in implementation of the study and thoughtful conversations.

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Correspondence to Vesife Hatisaru .

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Hatisaru, V. (2020). “[He] Has Impaired Vision Due to Overworking”: Students’ Views About Mathematicians. In: Andrà, C., Brunetto, D., Martignone, F. (eds) Theorizing and Measuring Affect in Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50526-4_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50526-4_9

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