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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


FRENZEL, Jeanne-Mari; LAMPEN, Christine Erna  and  BRODIE, Karin. Learners' awareness of their emotions and their engagement with mathematics tasks in a mathematics club. Journal of Education [online]. 2019, n.77, pp.44-59. ISSN 2520-9868.

The role and influence of learners' emotional experiences on their engagement or disengagement while working on mathematics tasks is under-researched in South Africa. Cognitive education research points increasingly to the importance of emotional awareness in cognitive activities and learning situations. In this paper, we describe how Grade 8 learners gained more awareness of their emotions during tasks by using an emotions lexicon as they participated in a mathematics club. We used observations, questionnaires, and interviews to gather data about the learners' awareness of their emotions and their engagement and perseverance with mathematics tasks. Our results indicate that awareness of emotions through access to an emotions vocabulary has a positive influence on individual learners' motivation and mathematical engagement as well as on group engagement, but we found, too, that the expected social consequences of engagement in emotionally risky classrooms may vitiate the personal gains.

Keywords : emotions; engagement; motivation.

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