kitchen table math, the sequel: Yet another reason for instructional grouping

Friday, August 2, 2013

Yet another reason for instructional grouping


Two studies tested the effect of humor, embedded in learning materials, on task interest. College student participants (NStudy 1 = 359, NStudy 2 = 172) learned a new math technique with the presence or absence of humor in the learning program and/or test instructions. Individual interest in math was measured initially and also tested as a factor. The results showed that the effect of humor in the learning program depended on individual interest in math. Humor raised task interest for those with low individual interest in math but slightly lowered task interest for those with high individual interest in math....

The effect of humorous instructional materials on interest in a math task
Kristina L. Matarazzo • Amanda M. Durik • Molly L. Delaney | Motiv Emot (2010) 34:293–305


Anonymous said...

Who was responsible for writing the humor? A math phobe or a math phile?

What a mathphobe regards as "humor" may just be an irritant to someone who likes math. And what someone who like math regards as humor may just be confusing to someone who doesn't understand math well enough to get the joke.

I suspect that the "humor" was not math-related jokes, though, so likely to appeal more to mathphobes.

momof4 said...

I agree. There is a constant search for ways to make X (whatever subject or topic)"fun" for kids who lack ability, preparation and/or motivation. Given my kids' exposure to such efforts, they may or (usually) may not motivate such kids, but they do a great job at turning off the able, prepared and motivated kids. I'm cynical enough to wonder if that was a feature, not a bug; Let No Child Get Ahead. Politicians, admins and too many teachers really don't appreciate or understand the kids at the right end of the Bell Curve.