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Title: Children's emotional responses to mathematical problem-solving : the roles of teaching methods and problem types
Author: Chiu, Mei-Shiu
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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The aim of the thesis is to investigate children’s emotional responses to mathematical problem solving, based on the concern that children in Taiwanese mathematical classrooms are experiencing a significant change in teaching methods and problem types from the ‘traditional mathematics’ to ‘constructivist mathematics’. The focused emotional variables include disposition toward teaching, liberal thinking styles, conservative styles, deep approaches, surface approaches, self-efficacy of effort and mistake anxiety. The research participants were 116 Year 5 (aged 9-10) children and their respective four mathematics teachers. Fraction and coordinates topics were chosen as two focused topics, in which a number of typical ill- and well-structured problems were chosen as focused problems from the participants’ textbooks. There are three main research findings. First, teaching methods revealed impacts on children’s emotional response. Second, there were four distinct patterns of children’s emotional and motivational responses to mathematical problem solving, with differential development processes in terms of emotional variables and preferred problem types. Third, the best determinants of children’s attainments in mathematics were self-efficacy, thinking styles and learning approaches, which however varied with genders, teaching methods and problem types. Chapter 1 explains the background and situation of mathematics education in Taiwan and outlines the goals of the thesis. Chapter 2 is concerned with the literature on emotional issues in mathematical learning, teaching styles, problem types, genders and achievement in mathematics, based on which, the research questions are proposed. In Chapter 3, an initial model is posited in order to answer the research questions and develop a research design, involving both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Chapter 4 explores the impact of teaching methods on children’s emotional responses to mathematical problem solving by analysing data of systematic and narrative classroom observations, teacher interviews, child interviews and children’s responses to the questionnaires. Chapter 5 investigates factors and patterns of children’s emotional responses to mathematical problem solving by a factor analysis, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis and analysis of data from child interview with a repertory grid technique. Chapter 6 examines the determinants of mathematics attainments in terms of genders, teaching method and emotional responses to problem solving by ANOVAs and correlation analyses. Chapter 7 focuses on discussion and conclusions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available