Teaching the graphical method of solving equations: an example in the Shanghai lessons. (English)

Leung, Frederick Koon Shing (ed.) et al., Algebra teaching around the world. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers (ISBN 978-94-6209-706-3/hbk; 978-94-6209-705-6/pbk; 978-94-6209-707-0/ebook). The Learnerâ€™s Perspective Study 5, 173-190 (2014).

From the text: How can a teacher help students acquire the power of the new tool and develop an additional perspective for algebra? In a traditional curriculum when students first learn algebra, they often come across the topic as an extension of arithmetic of numbers by including letters in their list of operating symbols. What they have been doing will hardly go beyond the basic arithmetic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and exponentiation; a further step is to view equations as a kind of modelling of simple representations of different problem situations; and finally the concept of function. In the remaining part of this chapter, an analysis of the lessons of a Shanghai teacher is presented to show how the graphical method of solving equations can be taught under the teacherâ€™s pedagogical philosophy. It is hoped that this chapter will give a small contribution to understanding how a teacher might possibly ratify his teaching of algebra.