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ERIC Number: EJ962533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1537-5749
A New Age for Algebra
Oishi, Lindsay
District Administration, v47 n9 p66-68, 70, 72 Oct 2011
"Solve for x." While many people first encountered this enigmatic instruction in high school, the last 20 years have seen a strong push to get students to take algebra in eighth grade or even before. Today, concerns about the economy highlight a familiar worry: American eighth-graders trailed their peers in five Asian countries on the 2007 TIMSS mathematics assessment, and American fourth-graders were outperformed by students from eight other countries, including England, Latvia, and Kazakhstan. Algebra specifically has a reputation as a gateway to achievement, not only in math, but also in high school, college, and work. With mathematical thinking critical for employment in science, technology, and engineering, as well as mere survival in the 21st century, educators are renewing their focus on early pathways to math achievement, particularly algebra. How is it possible that increasing numbers of middle school pupils are enrolling in algebra, yet college students are matriculating with inadequate skills? One explanation is that pushing children into an algebra course when they are not ready sets them up for failure. Just as no educator would argue that a child should be placed into algebra without proper preparation, none of the programs and products can be effective without their being supporting resources for instructors and administrators. Workshops, online training, site visits by external program staff, and ongoing evaluation are all potential components of a successful change in curriculum or pedagogy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study