Students researching struggles with mathematics

I may have hit on an idea that I want to put into practice. It’s not a new idea, and I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it before now. I am interested in researching emotions in mathematics and in deeply connecting with students who struggle with math. So why not put the two of those things together and involve my students in researching emotions about, attitudes toward, and struggle with mathematics? It seems both brilliant and obvious. And once I do it, I get the further research question of whether involving the students in this work can change their own relationship with mathematics, or even the culture of mathematics in my institution.

I’m excited at the prospect of growing this idea and figuring out where it might take me. This year, I have already been working with a graduate student in art therapy on shame and mathematics, and that it been a wonderful project for both of us, but somehow it never occurred to me that I could involved undergraduates in studying themselves. Now I’m very excited to flesh this idea out!

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