Investigating the role of positive emotions in secondary mathematics classrooms: Observing play, modelling and storytelling practices of experienced teachers through an engagement structures and positioning theory perspective

Lake, Elizabeth (2017) Investigating the role of positive emotions in secondary mathematics classrooms: Observing play, modelling and storytelling practices of experienced teachers through an engagement structures and positioning theory perspective. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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    Abstract

    Emotions are an important part of learning mathematics, but until recently have taken second place to cognitive processes within mathematics teaching and learning. Often students complain that they do not enjoy school mathematics, and adults report that they disliked mathematics at school. Yet successful students cite their teachers as a driving factor in choosing to study mathematics to a higher level.

    This study explores this and similar mismatches by investigating the existence and role of positive emotions in mathematics classrooms. I examine how teacher emotions ‘colour’ mathematics teaching, and how teachers actively share their emotional relationship with mathematics with students. To this end, I interviewed a sample of experienced UK mathematics teachers, observed lessons from their normal classroom practice, and used video stimulated post-observational discussion of episodes. I selected episodes by emotional expression in observed lessons in conjunction with evidence from a Galvanic Skin Resistance (GSR) sensor, used as an approximating indicator of internal emotions. In the analysis, I consider two models for examining affect. Engagement Structures (ES) was developed (Goldin, Epstein, Schorr and Warner, 2011) for researching student affect, and Positioning Theory (PT) (Harre and Langenhove, 1999), is used to examine the socially located detail of classroom discourse. I present episodes from classrooms through the lenses of ES and PT, and discuss their adaptation for mathematics teaching.

    I argue that teachers who build a positive emotional climate, defined as a climate supportive of positive engagement in learning mathematics, embed emotions within mathematics teaching in myriad unique and connective ways. In particular, teachers embed emotions by socially sharing their pleasure in mathematics, through play, by modelling enjoying engaging in mathematics, and through storytelling. Examining how experienced teachers use emotions within their teaching draws attention to where emotions might be used within teaching to the greatest effect and to some reasons why they might not be used.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
    Depositing User: Jackie Webb
    Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 16:01
    Last Modified: 16 May 2018 16:01
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/67095
    DOI:

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