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Topic: Math "anxiety" ... beyond websites.
Replies: 47   Last Post: Aug 21, 2009 6:10 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Larry Stone Posts: 25 Registered: 4/9/08
RE: algebra epiphanies
Posted: Aug 21, 2009 3:13 PM

Taking a wild stab at this:

===
One more time, let us put this to a test:

The best way to proceed would be to agree on a given level of
proficiency and then exhibit the first item thereafter that not
everybody can understand and explain what is hard in that item.

Or, a faster way, skip the prerequisite for the time being and just
come up with the algebra item and, if need be, we can always
backtrack to what it is resting on.
===

It seems like people can accept a small leap like "since we don't know
the number of apples, let's just use an x for now to stand for the
number of apples"; but there seems to be an
uneasiness/discomfort/difficulty accepting that an expression like
"0.05(2x-3)" with all its various parts can actually be seen as a single
entity: the value of the nickels (say). It's like a chunking thing.
Learning to build and/or interpret such expressions, and especially, to
assemble them into relevant equations, seems rather more difficult for
some reason.

So my guess would be: everybody can learn to do arithmetic and solve
linear equations. Many (most?) people have a hard time learning to
write algebraic expressions and assemble them into meaningful equations
when faced with some sort of practical application. What makes this
difficult is... well I really don't know.

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Date Subject Author
8/13/09 Clyde Greeno
8/13/09 Robert Hansen
8/13/09 Alain Schremmer
8/13/09 Robert Hansen
8/14/09 Alain Schremmer
8/15/09 Haim
8/14/09 Clyde Greeno
8/14/09 Alain Schremmer
8/14/09 Tom McClure
8/14/09 Alain Schremmer
8/14/09 Jonathan Groves
8/15/09 Alain Schremmer
8/16/09 Jonathan Groves
8/18/09 Larry Stone
8/18/09 Larry Stone
8/18/09 Robert Hansen
8/19/09 MATH4FOBIX@aol.com
8/19/09 Jonathan Groves
8/20/09 Robert Hansen
8/20/09 Alain Schremmer
8/20/09 Robert Hansen
8/20/09 Alain Schremmer
8/21/09 Larry Stone
8/21/09 Alain Schremmer
8/20/09 Jonathan Groves
8/20/09 MATH4FOBIX@aol.com
8/20/09 Robert Hansen
8/20/09 Alain Schremmer
8/21/09 Jonathan Groves
8/21/09 Beth Hentges
8/21/09 Robert Hansen
8/21/09 Beth Hentges
8/21/09 Alain Schremmer
8/21/09 Jonathan Groves
8/19/09 Jonathan Groves
8/19/09 Jonathan Groves
8/15/09 Haim
8/16/09 Clyde Greeno
8/17/09 Haim
8/18/09 kathleen Offenholley
8/19/09 Alain Schremmer
8/19/09 Jonathan Groves
8/20/09 kathleen Offenholley
8/20/09 Alain Schremmer
8/20/09 kathleen Offenholley
8/20/09 Alain Schremmer
8/19/09 Laura Bracken