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Initializing thinking in the mathematics classroom

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Thesis type
(Education)(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
This thesis examines the issues around initializing thinking in mathematics. In particular, non-start and quick-stop behaviour of high-school students between grade 10 and 12 during problem-solving is investigated. Factors which determine the approach of students during this crucial entry stage to problems are studied, along with the anxiety levels and the belief systems which shape their actions. Students’ responses are studied through their personal reflections and their attempts at initializing problem-solving. Using metacognitive and reflective approaches to help the students, along with establishing a classroom atmosphere which supports and encourages thinking, the causes of non-start behaviour are examined. The Mathematics Anxiety Scale and the Mathematics Related Beliefs Questionnaire are used at the beginning and end of the study to indicate any changes that have occurred. The aim is to provide teachers with a sense of how to foster this important area of mathematics and help alleviate non-start and quick-stop behaviour.
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