HOW TWO DIFFERENT LEVEL INSTITUTIONS CAN COOPERATE FOR THE SAME PURPOSE: TO MOTIVATE STUDENTS TO LEARN MATHEMATICS
The aim of this paper is to introduce an active method in math to foster problem solving and research skills in the context of linear systems. The implementation of our research was supported by a project funded by the Porto City Council with a partnership between an institution of higher education, the Institute of Accounting and Administration of Porto (ISCAP) and the Cerco of Porto, an Elementary and Secondary School. This school and the specific class were selected because some serious problems were identified by school teachers and managers, with regard to learning and motivation. The goal of this project was to promote students’ scientific culture, autonomy, and passion for learning. Particularly in mathematics, the project intended to introduce confidence in knowledge and skills acquisition. Our desire was to develop collaborative work around projects that support reflection and action, in order to improve learning outcomes and quality, with students-centered learning. In addition, we envisage promoting creativity in the elaboration of everyday problems that can be solved through systems of equations. Throughout this paper we present our research and the details about the more important self-active activities that were produced by students. Furthermore, a survey was developed and answered by students and parents/tutors to ascertain their opinion about the project. In general, the results were very positive, and gave good feedback that allows us to proceed with the project in the future, disseminating it to other classes.