What do students’ feel about mathematics? : Compulsory school students’ emotions and motivation towards mathematics

Sammanfattning: This licentiate thesis deals with compulsory school students’ expressed emotions and motivation towards mathematics. Theoretically it has been guided by Hannula’s meta theory on affect (e.g., 2012), where emotion and motivation are part. Further, emotion is in this thesis defined using models from Schirmer (2015), and motivation correspondingly by Shunk et al (2010). In the analysis, a model for emotion from Lövheim (2012), and models for motivation proposed by Ryan & Deci (e.g., 2000), later developed further by Sumpter (2012), were adopted.This thesis consists of two studies. In the first study, with a primarily qualitative approach, interviews were made with 19 primary school students in search for nuanced knowledge about their experiences of mathematics. The results reported in Paper I (Nyman & Sumpter, 2019) confirms previous research stating that students express both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for doing mathematics. But the results also indicate further motivational nuances, proposing a division of each dimension into six finer subcategories. The results reported in Paper II (Nyman, in press) indicate that students negative emotions towards mathematics are directed towards themselves, as shame or distress, and not ”externally” as anger. The results also indicate that there are connections between emotion and other affective concepts such as motivation and social dimensions, but also more technical aspects, for example being allowed to listen to music.The second study, reported in Paper III (in preparation), gathered questionnaire data from 222 grade 8 and grade 9 students, aiming to compare differences between the two grades but also between boys and girls. The results show that the only significant differences is between boys and girls concerning motivation: Girls generally express being more extrinsically motivated to doing mathematics than boys.