Do Mathematics, humour and teaching combine?

European Journal of Teaching and Education

Year: 2020 | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Page No: 31-38

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Do Mathematics, humour and teaching combine?

Luís Menezes and Ana Maria Costa



Mathematics is a very important school subject, but in many countries, such as Portugal and Spain, it has high levels of failure, together with low levels of student engagement. Therefore, mathematics teachers seek to find the best methods for teaching in order to achieve appropriate learning outcomes. Humour is a social element enjoyed by most people and is increasingly being used. Some of this humour focuses on Mathematics and mathematics classes.  Many studies, involving different school subjects, namely mathematics, show the benefits of using humour to teach and learn. Therefore, we intend to respond to the following questions: Do Portuguese and Spanish mathematics teachers appreciate humour? Do they acknowledge its educational value for teaching mathematics? Do they use humour to teach mathematics? To answer this question, we designed a mixed methodology study with a sample of 1088 Iberian mathematics teachers (Portuguese and Spanish), that teach from the early years of education up to higher education. Data collection was done through an online questionnaire.  The main results show that most teachers, at all levels of teaching, acknowledge that they have a sense of humour,  also acknowledging its educational value and have already used it in their classes, with the goal of creating a positive learning environment (with an emotive function)  and making students think and communicate (with a cognitive and communicative functions).

Keywords: classroom, mathematics, education, teachers, humour.

How to cite this article:
Menezes,L.Maria Costa,A.Do Mathematics, humour and teaching combine?. European Journal of Teaching and Education, 2 (1):31-38.