Algebra: The Key to Student Success, Or Just Another Hurdle?
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Publisher:Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Citation:Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, no. 67 (2013), 48-56.
The strong emphasis on algebra has led to nationwide school reforms, and it is an integral part of major high school curricula changes that have taken place in recent years. In this article we try to determine if there is a basis for the underlying belief that algebra equips students with the skills necessary to succeed in college. Based on the existing literature, it follows that college algebra may be an indicator of student success in college, but there is no evidence that this subject contributes to that success. There is no evidence of the context or structure of algebra aiding students in developing or even improving any of their cognitive skills, but only their content knowledge. While it is not impossible that this could be the case in a particular situation if the mathematics curricula were constructed with this in mind, no such studies were found in the literature.
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