Q&A #17151

New pre-algebra course without prerequisites

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: May 21, 2006 at 19:38:23
Subject: Re: New pre-algebra course without prerequisites

Hi Jackie,

I would urge you to reconsider the need for a "pre-requisite" requirement for
a pre-algebra course.  Pre-algebra is something that students should be able
to handle without a great deal of trouble, if it is taught with an eye to
developing problem solving strategies and algebraic thinking.  It is the
teaching that needs to be considered, instead of the learning...

Too often algebra is used as a barrier for students.  Now that more students
are taking algebra, some educators are trying to move the access barrier
down to pre-algebra.

I understand your concern, but please know that there will never be a good
time to make such a dramatic change.  There will always be someone arguing
that the stage hasn't been properly set, the students aren't yet prepared,
etc.    I would encourage you to look at how your school system can embrace,
and accept this challenge.  Good luck, and please know that there are many
systems out there that are doing just this  thing, and would, I am sure, be
willing to mentor your efforts.

 -Gail, for the T2T service

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