Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Carol Wade


Students may not find their mathematics classes interesting and could attribute this lack of interest to the subject matter. Along with this disinterest, students may display a lack of motivation and may struggle to understand the material (Ames, 1992). These students may not connect with their teacher or identify as a learner of mathematics, which could be stressful for students. However, humor can be implemented in the classroom to provide a relaxed atmosphere in which students can learn and reduce the level of stress (Girdlefanny, 2004)). Humor also allows students to better connect with their teachers, gain understanding and connection to material, and increase student interest (Huss, 2008).

This thesis explores how students’ perceptions and attitudes towards mathematics class changed over time when humor was implemented in the classroom. Students completed pre and post surveys regarding mathematics and the use of humor in the classroom, with the implementation of humor occurring between the two surveys. A paired t-test was then used to compare surveys and determine that humor had a significant impact on students’ perceptions and attitudes towards mathematics. Students indicated that they felt more relaxed and comfortable participating in class, as well as better able to remember and understand the material, when humor was present in the classroom.

Included in

Education Commons