Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Catherine Miller


Motivation in education; Mathematics--Study and teaching; Logic; Reasoning;


As a future educator, I am going to need to motivate my students to learn mathematics and be engaged deeply with the material. Because mathematics is a required subject for students, mathematics teachers must employ various strategies to motivate their students. Something that has motivated me in past mathematics courses has been the chance to form arguments and defend them in class. Argumentation in mathematics classrooms has been included in the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice as Practice Standard 3: “Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others” (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010). I would like to use argumentation extensively in my future classroom, because I enjoyed it as a student and it helped me learn and engage with mathematical concepts. However, I do not know if it will be a motivator for my students like it was for me, and I would like to see evidence before I use it extensively in my future classroom.

The purpose of this research is to inform my future practice by studying the effects of argumentation, specifically the implementation of the Common Core Standard for Mathematical Practice, related to constructing viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of others (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010), on student motivation in secondary mathematics classrooms. I also hope that I can draw attention to this topic so that those who are interested can help contribute to the literature concerning a substantive connection between the two ideas of argumentation and motivation. To focus my research, I have developed the following research question: Does meeting Common Core Standard for Mathematical Practice 3, “Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others,” affect student motivation in mathematics classrooms?

Date of Award



Department of Mathematics

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (2, 26 pages)



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