Students’ emotional experiences learning mathematics in Canadian schools

Jo Towers, Miwa Takeuchi, Jennifer Hall, Lyndon C Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this chapter, we draw on Canadian Kindergarten to Grade 9 students' autobiographical accounts of learning mathematics in schools and their drawings of their feelings about doing mathematics in order to explore students' relationships with mathematics and the emotions associated with doing mathematics. Drawing on enactivist thought, we offer insight into the complex relationship between emotion and learning. Our analysis reveals a nuanced emotional landscape associated with learning mathematics, including positive, negative, and highly topic-dependent relationships with mathematics among this population, together with narratives of changing relationships that shed light on the kinds of pedagogies that support and detract from learning. Drawings of students' heads feature widely in the data, prompting us to raise questions about the disembodied nature of mathematics learning in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Emotions in Mathematical Thinking and Learning
EditorsUlises Xolocotzin Eligio
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780128024898
ISBN (Print)9780128022184
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2017


  • Affect
  • Drawings
  • Embodiment
  • Emotion
  • Mathematics autobiography
  • Mathematics learning

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