Abstract

Student motivation has long been a concern of mathematics educators. Here, I characterize motivation, defined as an individual's desire to act in particular ways, through analysis of students' extended, collaborative problem solving efforts. Grounded in a longitudinal research project in calculus learning and teaching, Contextualized Motivation Theory (CMT) offers a means for understanding the complexities of student motivations in mathematics learning. Students in this study chose to act upon various intellectual-mathematical motivations and social-personal motivations, existing simultaneously, within a supporting "web" of motivations. Students exhibited intellectual passion in persisting beyond obtaining correct answers to build understandings of mathematical ideas. CMT positions personal agency as the active power in intellectual passion, foregrounds mathematical need as a kernel of students' problem solving industry, characterizes the social nature of motivation, and encompasses conceptually driven conditions that foster student engagement in mathematics learning.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2010-03-05

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd3393

Keywords

motivation, agency, collaboration, problem solving

Share

COinS