
06664684
j
2016f.01356
Sherman, Milan F.
Walkington, Candace
Howell, Elizabeth
A comparison of symbolprecedence view in investigative and conventional textbooks used in algebra courses.
J. Res. Math. Educ. 47, No. 2, 134146 (2016).
2016
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Reston, VA
EN
U20
E40
curriculum
textbooks
symbol precedence
doi:10.5951/jresematheduc.47.2.0134
Summary: Recent reform movements have emphasized students making meaning of algebraic relationships; however, research on student thinking and learning often remains disconnected from the design of widely used curricular materials. Although a previous examination of algebra textbooks demonstrated a preference for a symbolsfirst approach, research has demonstrated that Algebra I students' performance on verbally presented problems is better than on symbolic equations, consistent with cognitive theories suggesting the value of concreteness fading. The present study investigates whether current textbooks used in Algebra I courses demonstrate a formalismsfirst approach using five different analyses. Results show that despite nearly 2 decades of research on student learning, the conventional textbooks used in most classrooms have been resistant to change and emphasize manipulation with symbols prior to making sense of verbal scenarios.