ERIC Number: ED377167
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Algebra for All Students? Craft Paper 94-2.
This paper brings a teacher's perspective to bear on recent policy initiatives requiring all high school graduates to complete an Algebra One course. The paper is based on the teacher's experience in teaching high school students who have not been successful in mathematics, at Holt High School in Michigan. The teacher is caught between a desire to provide students in a lower track class with access to mathematics, which plays an important role in providing opportunities for a college education, and students' questions about why study algebra. This leads the teacher to rethink his own understanding of algebra and his approach to teaching the subject. The teacher becomes convinced of students' sense-making abilities in mathematics, but is dismayed by the complexity of the task of working with the class as a social unit. The paper finds that the current algebra curriculum is deeply flawed and makes it impossible for many students to study successfully. An alternative view of the central objects of study in algebra is explored, one that suggests connections between algebra and calculations with quantities that are performed repeatedly in everyday work situations. (Contains 35 references. (JDD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning, East Lansing, MI.