Motivation Matters and Interest Counts: Fostering Engagement in Mathematics

Amanda Jansen and James Middleton
Review by: Angela Lenis

Motivation Matters and Interest Counts: Fostering Engagement in Mathematics tackles some big questions: how can children engage in mathematics? Why do some children disengage from mathematics? Middleton and Jansen answer these questions with one word: motivation. The authors – experts in the field of student success and learning – introduce 6 principles of motivation that teachers can use to foster mathematical environments designed for student success. Through vignettes, analysis, and research evidence, the reader is provided with the perfect amount of theoretical and practical information to understand the link between motivation and learning, and how the role of the teacher is instrumental in developing mathematical motivation. The authors provide practical strategies that teachers can use to create more motivating mathematical environments. Through its conversational nature and vignettes, any reader – a teacher, a parent, or a researcher – will be able to relate to this book on a personal or professional level. This book will put motivation at the centre of every teacher’s planning, and will help teachers become experts in analyzing the behaviours and attitudes of their students. Best of all, the principles of motivation introduced in this book are not limited to mathematics; Middleton and Jansen have highlighted the importance of motivation in education in general, and reading this book will empower teachers to create motivating learning environments in all areas of their teaching.