ERIC Number: ED213587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Algebra in the Provincial High Schools' Curriculum. Report No. 20.
This report investigates recent tenth-grade algebra achievement, after first suggesting there are good reasons for maintaining algebra in the syllabuses for grades nine and ten. Results indicate the students studied have mastered such algebraic skills as "collecting like terms" and "substitution in formulae." It is noted that these pupils experienced great difficulty in framing problems in algebraic terms, and in accepting that letters can be used in a general sense and not just stand for one specific unknown number. It is argued that the present curriculum, which introduces algebra through the study of formulae and equations, produces this fixation and prevents students from developing a broader concept of the use of letters in mathematics. The document concludes with recommendations for curriculum development in algebra at the secondary level. Suggested activities are framed in a problem-solving context in which letters are used meaningfully rather than simply as objects to be manipulated. The approach attempts to focus on more general concepts of letters as variables to provide the foundation on which algebraic conventions and skills can be built. (MP)
Descriptors: Algebra, Curriculum Development, Educational Research, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematics Curriculum, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving, Secondary Education, Secondary School Mathematics
The Director, Mathematics Education Centre, Papua New Guinea University of Technology, P.O. Box 793, Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea (no price quoted).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Papua New Guinea Univ. of Technology, Lae.
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research; Papua New Guinea