Well I arrived at the conference with no luggage. What do I need clothes for anyway. I learned how to use the rail system in the middle of the night but I was assisted by what felt like the entire train speaking in Hungarian but being enormously helpful. I could not speak any Hungarian and my translator app was useless. A very nice young man Mate gave me a ride from one train station to a bus stop, and the language barrier began again.
Mate shared his facebook page with me and I made it to Hotel Annabella by 10 pm. https://vimeo.com/198481911
So…mathematically speaking, I spoke to Mate about my intention to observe math classrooms. He immediately said “i was not very good in maths in school.” This is reinforcement for my project. Is the amount of struggle in maths associated with thinking one is not good at it? Maybe.
On the 6 hour missed connection at Heathrow airport I had a chance to read an article on Emotion and disaffection with school mathematics, Lewis, 2013. Mate’s struggle with Maths ( this is how it is referred to) has been documented. Lewis has a book out on the topic, but I did not have room in my luggage. The article documented voices like Mate. For example one student wondered why teachers spent more time with students who did not struggle instead of helping struggling students. We might have some sort of cultural aversion to struggle. Lewis, 2013, found that when students struggle, then the teacher wants to spend time with those students who do not struggle. If you get it, the teacher wants to reinforce the students who get it, but those who are disaffected like Mate and my friend Colette have learned to run and hide and not enjoy the struggle because they may have felt pressure from a teacher. I am not blaming teachers, I am just trying to investigate why those who think they may not like maths or can’t do maths might be because they have been negatively reinforced by teacher aversions to their struggles.