Presentation Title

Student Engagement in Mathematics: Comparing Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Finland and the United States at the Middle School Level

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Social Sciences

Abstract

The United States is struggling with a low level of student engagement in mathematics. This study aimed to investigate student engagement from Finnish and American middle level teachers’ perspectives, with the goal of broadening our understanding of what teachers think and do about engagement in mathematics. Three American teachers and two Finnish teachers were interviewed about their beliefs and practices surrounding student engagement in their mathematics classrooms. This study explored the ways the teachers conceptualize engagement, strategies they use in the classroom to increase engagement, and challenges they experience. The findings indicate that teachers’ beliefs about engagement have a profound impact on the strategies they use to engage students. Additionally, the Finnish teachers interviewed had a different conception of engagement than the American teachers who participated in this study. The results of this study give teachers a wider range of conceptualizations and strategies for engagement in mathematics.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Alan Tinkler

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Education and Social Services

Program/Major

Secondary Education

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Second College (optional)

College of Arts and Sciences

Second Program (optional)

Mathematics

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Student Engagement in Mathematics: Comparing Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Finland and the United States at the Middle School Level

The United States is struggling with a low level of student engagement in mathematics. This study aimed to investigate student engagement from Finnish and American middle level teachers’ perspectives, with the goal of broadening our understanding of what teachers think and do about engagement in mathematics. Three American teachers and two Finnish teachers were interviewed about their beliefs and practices surrounding student engagement in their mathematics classrooms. This study explored the ways the teachers conceptualize engagement, strategies they use in the classroom to increase engagement, and challenges they experience. The findings indicate that teachers’ beliefs about engagement have a profound impact on the strategies they use to engage students. Additionally, the Finnish teachers interviewed had a different conception of engagement than the American teachers who participated in this study. The results of this study give teachers a wider range of conceptualizations and strategies for engagement in mathematics.