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ERIC Number: EJ864644
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0740-7874
Making Algebra Work: Instructional Strategies that Deepen Student Understanding, within and between Algebraic Representations
Star, Jon R.; Rittle-Johnson, Bethany
ERS Spectrum, v27 n2 p11-18 Spr 2009
Competence in algebra is increasingly recognized as a critical milestone in students' middle and high school years. The transition from arithmetic to algebra is a notoriously difficult one, and improvements in algebra instruction are greatly needed (National Research Council, 2001). Algebra historically has represented students' first sustained exposure to the abstraction and symbolism that makes mathematics powerful (Kieran, 1992); its symbolic procedures enable students to consider relationships, variable quantities, and situations in which change occurs (Fey, 1990). In addition to its central role in the discipline of mathematics, algebra also serves as a critical "gatekeeper" course, in that earning a passing grade has become a de facto requirement for many educational and workplace opportunities. Some have gone so far as to refer to algebra as the new civil right (Moses, 1993). Research shows that students who complete a mathematics course beyond the level of Algebra II more than double the odds of pursuing and completing postsecondary education (Adelman, 1999). Many districts now require completion of an Algebra I course prior to completion of 9th grade (Loveless, 2008). Regrettably, students' difficulties in algebra have been well documented in national and international assessments (e.g., Beaton, Mullis, Martin, Gonzales, Kelly, & Smith, 1996; Blume & Heckman, 1997; Lindquist, 1989; Schmidt, McKnight, Cogan, Jakwerth, & Houang, 1999). For example, data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that many 12th-graders can solve only the most simple and routine algebra tasks (Blume & Heckman, 1997). (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305H050179
IES Cited: ED532215