On May 12, I gave a talk at Global Math Department titled “Beyond Beauty”. I chatted about the words we use to describe mathematics and their implications for our students and our classroom. You can check out the recording of the session here.
I concluded the talk with a call to action—to survey students about how they conceive of and value mathematics, and then to have a conversation about it. This isn’t meant to be “research” or a standardized survey, but just a prompt for thinking.
If you have access to the necessary technology, using Google forms can be nice as a way to gather and process data. And word clouds are a great way to see what your students’ guts say about math.
As a prototype, here’s a little survey with your students and discuss their thoughts. If you would like to, leave a comment below about what transpires, or leave a link to a blog post reflecting on the experience.
Which of the following is most true for you? Circle one.
I like math because math is fun.
I like math because math is useful.
I like math because math is challenging.
I like math because math is beautiful.
I like math because math is clear-cut.
I don’t like math.
Please briefly explain your choice.