Salvador Vidal: “Number Day improves attitudes towards mathematics”

03/02/17
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One of our professors from the Faculty of Education, Salvador Vidal, has published the following article:  “Number Day improves attitudes towards mathematics (motivation in mathematics)” in the Investigaçao Educacional journal. This journal is published annually by the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the Catholic University of Portugal.

Salvador Vidal:  “Number Day improves attitudes towards mathematics”

The article, which was the result of an ERASMUS+ teaching stay which the professor undertook last year at the Catholic University of Portugal, is the description of fifteen years of experience putting into practice what he calls “Number Day”. “We wanted students to discover the most exciting, fun and magic side of numbers” Vidal explained.

During the years he worked in a primary and secondary school, he noticed that “there was a strong lack of motivation among many pupils and some of the teachers in relation to this discipline since they found it tiresome and boring”. Due to this, he started up a festive day along with some other teachers, which, in imitation of World Book Day on 23rd April, would encourage students to appreciate maths and understand why it is necessary.

In his article Salvador Vidal describes how the idea for this festive day arose and the steps taken to carry it out. Finally, he concluded that “after setting up this day, attitudes to mathematics improved a lot; I would say it is key for students to accept mathematics and even have a good time doing it”.

Recently Salvador Vidal was interviewed for the +1. Sumant històries magazine, in which he talked about all of this and about the importance of mathematics in daily life. “Mathematics can make life easier for us, it helps us on a daily basis”.