id: 02370056
dt: j
an: 2008f.00383
au: Knuth, Eric J.; Stephens, Ana C.; McNeil, Nicole M.; Alibali, Martha W.
ti: Does understanding the equal sign matter? Evidence from solving equations.
so: J. Res. Math. Educ. 37, No. 4, 297-312 (2006).
py: 2006
pu: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Reston, VA
la: EN
cc: H33 C33
ut: equations; elementary algebra; learning; grades 5-8; lower secondary
ci:
li: doi:10.2307/30034852
ab: Summary: Given its important role in mathematics as well as its role as a
gatekeeper to future educational and employment opportunities, algebra
has become a focal point of both reform and research efforts in
mathematics education. Understanding and using algebra is dependent on
understanding a number of fundamental concepts, one of which is the
concept of equality. This article focuses on middle school studentsâ€™
understanding of the equal sign and its relation to performance solving
algebraic equations. The data indicate that many students lack a
sophisticated understanding of the equal sign and that their
understanding of the equal sign is associated with performance on
equation-solving items. Moreover, the latter finding holds even when
controlling for mathematics ability (as measured by standardized
achievement test scores). Implications for instruction and curricular
design are discussed.
rv: