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ERIC Number: ED573289
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
Teaching Algebra Conceptually: Student Achievement
Linsell, Chris; Tozer, Lynn; Anakin, Megan; Cox, Anna; Jones, Rachel; McAuslan, Eric; Smith, Donna; Turner, Garry
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) (35th, Singapore, Jul 2-6, 2012)
This paper reports findings from the second year of a two-year study designed to develop approaches to teaching algebra in years 9 and 10. The aim of the research was to explore and develop teaching approaches to assist students to acquire a conceptual understanding of algebra, and to document the impact of these approaches on student outcomes. Previous work (Linsell, 2009) has detailed the strategies that students use to solve equations but there has been no research to date on teaching approaches that make use of these findings. The two main components of this study were a qualitative description of teaching approaches based on videos, teachers' diaries and meeting notes, and a quantitative analysis of student outcomes based on results from a previously developed assessment tool (Linsell, Savell, Johnston, Bell, McAuslan, & Bell, 2006). Approaches to teaching were not uniform between teachers, but all made extensive use of the diagnostic assessment information and recognised that algebraic thinking pervades the entire mathematics curriculum. Assessment of the students at the end of either one or two year's participation in the study showed significant improvements in algebraic strategies and knowledge compared to baseline, though there was little improvement during the second year. Furthermore, the measures of student outcomes displayed significantly higher values for students in this study compared to year 9 and year 10 students in Secondary Numeracy Project (SNP) schools, which are fairly representative of the population.
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. GPO Box 2747, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; High Schools; Grade 10
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: New Zealand Council for Educational Research
Authoring Institution: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand