Participation in Honors Math

This qualitative study explored the participation habits of honors math students enrolled in a sophomore level honors math class. Data was collected through the use of a survey, semi-structured interviews, and class observations to provide information on students’ reasons for participating and modes of participation. The student participants indicated that they felt most comfortable participating when they understood the material being discussed, when the lesson included a game or activity, and when they were given the opportunity to work and discuss ideas in small groups. Participants were less likely to participate when they were unsure about the correctness of their answers because they were concerned about how their peers would judge their answer. Implications of this study focus on teaching practices that encourage participation and the environment that teachers create in math classes.