Motivational Algebra Quotes

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The number system we use today—the Hindu-Arabic system—was developed in India and seems to have been completed by around 700 CE. Indian mathematicians made advances in what would today be described as arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, much of their work being motivated by an interest in astronomy. The system is based on three key ideas: notations for the numerals, place value, and zero.
Keith Devlin (The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution)
In their writing on education, Deci and Ryan proceed from the principle that humans are natural learners and children are born creative and curious, “intrinsically motivated for the types of behaviors that foster learning and development.” This idea is complicated, however, by the fact that part of learning anything, be it painting or programming or eighth-grade algebra, involves a lot of repetitive practice, and repetitive practice is usually pretty boring. Deci and Ryan acknowledge that many of the tasks that teachers ask students to complete each day are not inherently fun or satisfying; it is the rare student who feels a deep sense of intrinsic motivation when memorizing her multiplication tables. It is at these moments that extrinsic motivation becomes important: when behaviors must be performed not for the inherent satisfaction of completing them, but for some separate outcome. Deci and Ryan say that when students can be encouraged to internalize those extrinsic motivations, the motivations become increasingly powerful. This is where the psychologists return to their three basic human needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When teachers are able to create an environment that promotes those three feelings, they say, students exhibit much higher levels of motivation. And how does a teacher create that kind of environment? Students experience autonomy in the classroom, Deci and Ryan explain, when their teachers “maximize a sense of choice and volitional engagement” while minimizing students’ feelings of coercion and control. Students feel competent, they say, when their teachers give them tasks that they can succeed at but that aren’t too easy — challenges just a bit beyond their current abilities. And they feel a sense of relatedness when they perceive that their teachers like and value and respect them.
Paul Tough (Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why)
What to Do Tonight Teach your kids that they are responsible for their own education. Kids should feel in charge, not that school is being done “to them.” Note this is very different from blaming kids who are struggling. If your child is not learning from his teacher, acknowledge this without blaming the teacher. “Mr. Cooper is doing the best he can. He just doesn’t know how to teach you the way you learn.” Encourage your child to think of what will motivate him to master the material being taught in the class anyway. Remind your child of the big picture, that grades matter less than the ways he or she develops as a student and person. Resist the pressure to push your child if he’s not ready, be it reading in kindergarten, algebra in eighth grade, or AP classes in high school. Create an advocacy group made of up teachers, parents, and kids to talk about what you can all do to make school a less stressful experience. Consider advocating for brain-friendly experiences in school such as exercise, the arts, and meditation.
William Stixrud (The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives)
Table of Contents 1. Exponents 1.1. Motivation
Metin Bektas (Algebra - The Very Basics)