Algebra for Everyone: In-Service Handbook by Edgar L. Edwards

By Edgar L. Edwards

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Discussing conclusions and implications of current research in mathematics education, Peterson (in Grouws and Cooney [1988] ) claims that the challenge for educators in the next decade will be to improve students’ leaming of higher-order skills in mathematics. Recent research and theory suggest that the following classroom processes might facilitate that relational understanding of mathematics: (a) Focus on meaning and understanding. (b) Encourage students ’ autonomy, independence, self-direction, and persistence in learning.

First we find those students who master the traditional curriculum, taught under a behavioral learning psychology, and these students proceed to a course called prealgebra in grade 7. Next we find students not quite as successful, and they spend the middle grades reviewing some arithmetic in more complex exercises while they wait to enroll in algebra in the ninth grade. Finally, we observe the unsuccessful students, who stay in school and are relegated to a complete review of arithmetic. Typically, these 24 mia rRANsmoN 1=RoM Anrrmvrrzrrc ro ALGEBRA 25 students will never enroll in a course called algebra.

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1987. THE TRANSITION FROM ARITHMETIC TO ALGEBRA 33 Sobel, Max A. , and Evan M. Maletsky. Teaching Mathematics. : Prentice-Hall, 1988. Steen, Lynn Arthur. " Science, 29 April 1988, pp. 611-16. Travers, Kenneth J. , Second Study 0f Mathematics: Summary Rep0rt—United States. Champaign: University of Illinois, 1985. Usiskin, Zalman. 8—19. Reston, Va: The Council, 1988. 4 DAvno J. Gmrzsn GLENDA LAPPAN The N CTM’s Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (Standards ) (1989) presents a vision of mathematical power for students that forces us to rethink in fundamental ways what is important for students to know and be able to do in mathematics.

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