DescriptionResearcher Chuck Walter conducts an interview with rising senior Romina after her participation in an intensive matheamtical problem-solving experience in a summer institute. Interview questions include: "Is there anything you would like to say that we have not been asking you about this experience? Would you feel more comfortable if people reassured you more about whether you were on the right track with a problem? How would you advise a teacher on how you would build up someone’s self esteem in math? What is mathematics?"
In reflecting on the two week Rutgers Summer Institute between her junior and senior high school year, Romina summarizes her time as a “good experience” where she and the others engaged in problem solving, thinking, talking, arguing, and proving. When asked about whether she would have felt more comfortable to have been reassured more during tasks, Romina asserts that, “I don’t like being reassured” in a problem. She defines “reassurance” as when “they’re treating me like a little child,” “holding our hand,” and “walking us through.” She says this process of instruction allows the students to “get the right answer.” When “they” – the instructors – do not reassure them, then the students can go in an unknown direction that “makes it all the better.” In reference to self esteem in mathematics, Romina explains that she believes there are “two big different areas of math” that she identifies as “thinking” and “spitting out numbers.” She claims that she was “never good” at the “spitting out numbers” part of mathematics, but that she was “decent” at the “thinking about it.” She says she would encourage teachers to incorporate the “thinking” part because, in her definition, mathematics is problem solving. Romina elaborates that mathematics is “everywhere” and in “every situation you could possibly think of.”
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Related Publication Type: Related publication Label: Ed.D. dissertation references the video footage that includes Romina interview reflections (12th grade): Mathematics is everywhere Date: 2010 Author: Steffero, Maria (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)