**ERIC Number:**EJ859706

**Record Type:**Journal

**Publication Date:**2008-Nov

**Pages:**3

**Abstractor:**ERIC

**Reference Count:**2

**ISBN:**N/A

**ISSN:**ISSN-0025-5785

Links between Algebra and Arithmetic

Steel, Wayne

Mathematics Teaching Incorporating Micromath, n211 p14-16 Nov 2008

General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) mathematics assessment previously included a piece of coursework that required learners to develop a general equation to describe the relationship between two groups of numbers on a number grid. In this author's experience, it became clear that Year 10 students often struggled to form a link between arithmetic patterns and algebraic generalities. Also, his work with sixth-form students highlighted situations where they were uncomfortable with manipulating algebraic expressions without changing the variables to x and y, which suggested that even these quite capable mathematicians saw algebra as a distinct process separate from other areas of mathematics. In this article, the author investigates a class of 20 Year 10 students of average ability on two aspects of their use of algebra--as a description of a general arithmetic connection/progression and as a valid method of proof that a connection exists--using the process known as the "clinical interview", allowing him to gain as much information as possible about each student's understanding of the concepts involved. (Contains 3 figures.)

Descriptors: Mathematics Activities, Arithmetic, Algebra, Mathematics Instruction, Secondary School Mathematics, Secondary School Students, Grade 10, Mathematical Concepts, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematical Logic, Interviews, Concept Formation, Foreign Countries

Association of Teachers of Mathematics. Unit 7 Prime Industrial Park, Shaftesbury Street, Derby, DE23 8YB, UK. Tel: +44-1332-346599; e-mail: admin@atm.org.uk; Web site: http://www.atm.org.uk/mt/index.html

**Publication Type:**Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive

**Education Level:**Grade 10; Secondary Education

**Audience:**Teachers

**Language:**English

**Sponsor:**N/A

**Authoring Institution:**N/A

**Identifiers - Location:**United Kingdom