TY - JOUR

T1 - Teacher immediacy and learning mathematics

T2 - Effects on students with divergent mathematical aptitudes

AU - McCluskey, Ryan

AU - Dwyer, Jerry

AU - Sherrod, Sonya

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Research Council on Mathematics Learning.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Undergraduates pursue degrees in disciplines in which they hold an affect or possess an interest. Math and science majors possess a positive affect for mathematics; however, to maximize the number of math majors, it is important to boost the motivation of non-math majors to learn mathematics. This study examines the relationships between instructors’ nonverbal immediacy and (1) affective learning of math, (2) affect for math, and (3) affect for the instructor. Participants were 426 freshmen (math and non-math majors) at a public university in the southwest United States. Comparisons were made between students enrolled in calculus and algebra courses. Comparisons between groups of varying math aptitude were also examined. Immediacy was moderately correlated with students’ affective learning (0.38), with the strongest correlation for those with medium math aptitude (0.47). When affective learning was restricted to affect for the subject content, an even stronger correlation was found for students with medium math aptitude (0.49). There was no significant difference between the correlations for immediacy and affective learning for calculus students and algebra students. An even stronger positive correlation (0.61) was found between immediacy and affect for the instructor. Results suggest that, regardless of aptitude for mathematics, students enrolled in mathematics courses who perceive their instructors to be immediate have a greater positive affect toward the instructor and the mathematics content. Surprisingly, students with an average aptitude in mathematics have a greater positive affect toward the mathematics content when compared to students with higher and lower aptitudes in mathematics.

AB - Undergraduates pursue degrees in disciplines in which they hold an affect or possess an interest. Math and science majors possess a positive affect for mathematics; however, to maximize the number of math majors, it is important to boost the motivation of non-math majors to learn mathematics. This study examines the relationships between instructors’ nonverbal immediacy and (1) affective learning of math, (2) affect for math, and (3) affect for the instructor. Participants were 426 freshmen (math and non-math majors) at a public university in the southwest United States. Comparisons were made between students enrolled in calculus and algebra courses. Comparisons between groups of varying math aptitude were also examined. Immediacy was moderately correlated with students’ affective learning (0.38), with the strongest correlation for those with medium math aptitude (0.47). When affective learning was restricted to affect for the subject content, an even stronger correlation was found for students with medium math aptitude (0.49). There was no significant difference between the correlations for immediacy and affective learning for calculus students and algebra students. An even stronger positive correlation (0.61) was found between immediacy and affect for the instructor. Results suggest that, regardless of aptitude for mathematics, students enrolled in mathematics courses who perceive their instructors to be immediate have a greater positive affect toward the instructor and the mathematics content. Surprisingly, students with an average aptitude in mathematics have a greater positive affect toward the mathematics content when compared to students with higher and lower aptitudes in mathematics.

KW - Algebra

KW - calculus

KW - mathematics education

KW - teacher immediacy

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85071647896&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/19477503.2016.1245047

DO - 10.1080/19477503.2016.1245047

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85071647896

SN - 1947-7503

VL - 9

SP - 157

EP - 170

JO - Investigations in Mathematics Learning

JF - Investigations in Mathematics Learning

IS - 4

ER -