This paper is about students’ perceptions of mathematics and statistics and their impact on students’ engagement, enthusiasm and academic self-efficacy. I will discuss the strategies I developed to improve learning and teaching in statistics and mathematics service course classes, consisting of 15 students each, some of which also worked extremely well in my lectures to large audiences of about 350 students. I would argue that such an approach could not only enhance students’ perceptions of the subjects and their engagement in classes/lectures but also promote critical thinking, independent learning, reasoning and several transferable skills associated with university education. I will share the outcome of my teaching approach which not only fulfilled my initial expectations but far surpassed them. It increased students’ engagement and their enthusiasm which improved their performance in class activities and coursework. Furthermore, it improved students’ perceptions and attitudes to mathematics and statistics as reflected in their feedback. I have included some of their comments to highlight the impact a teaching approach can have on students
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