ERIC Number: ED231612
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
The Learning of Algebra by 9th Graders: Research Findings Relevant to Teacher Training & Classroom Practice.
Gerace, W. J.; Mestre, J. P.
This report presents findings from a study of the cognitive processes and learning difficulties of ninth-grade students in Algebra I. A clinical interview approach was used with 14 students. A group of six Hispanic students and a group of five Anglo students were enrolled in the same algebra class; three Hispanic students were enrolled in an "advanced" class, since they had started algebra one-half year before the others. Probed were students' appreciation of algebra as an abstract logical system, command of the formal operations of algebra, ability to use algebra, and ability to solve problems. Performance in English vs. Spanish was compared, and students' teaching styles were analyzed as they taught peers. It was found that students preferred not to use algebraic techniques in solving problems, were poor at verbalizing definitions and procedures and at translating problem statements into equations, did not use their textbooks very much except as a place to find assigned problems, and treated algebra as a rule-based discipline, not as a concept-based one. Findings are discussed in relation to the effectiveness of the textbook, to instructional approaches, and to the interplay of language in cognitive processes. (MNS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Univ., Amherst. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.