ERIC Number: ED472051
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jul
Looking for Leverage: Issues of Classroom Research on "Algebra for All."
Schoenfeld, Alan H.
In the United States, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have lower success rates and higher drop-out rates in mathematics than other racial or ethnic groups. Given that quantitative competency serves increasingly as a vehicle for economic enfranchisement, these differential success rates make mathematics achievement a civil rights issue. Failure and dropouts starts early; moreover, "algebra" is becoming a major stumbling block: many states require students to pass algebra tests in order to graduate high school. This social/mathematical problem is becoming increasingly urgent. This paper describes the American context and suggests its relevance world- wide. It then explores the following issues: (1) is mathematics culture-free and what are the implications for instruction?; (2) the institutional support necessary for high quality instruction; (3) the differential treatment of student groups; (4) pedagogical practices that enfranchise a wide range of students; (5) the roles of language and discourse in learning and classroom communities; (6) individual agency; and (7) what it means to engage meaningfully with mathematics. The challenge is to conduct classroom research that helps to explain, at a level of mechanism, how classroom interactions can be structured to help students who vary widely in terms of cultural backgrounds and prior mathematical success to all learn some very solid mathematics. (Contains 49 references.) (Author/KHR)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics (at the Undergraduate Level) (2nd, Hersonissos, Crete, Greece, July 1-6, 2002); see SE 066 909.