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New Study Will Teach Students Algebra Through Storytelling

New Study Will Teach Students Algebra Through Storytelling

Getting students to learn algebra can be tough, but what if Instagram, video games, and other student interests were in the mix?

A new study conducted by teaching researcher Candace Walkington in Dallas will test this theory, said an article on Phys.org. The study, the article said, "asks pre-algebra students to author their own algebra stories based on their personal interests."

"In previous work, I found that students draw upon rich algebraic ways of reasoning when pursuing their out-of-school interests in areas like sports, social networking and video games," said Walkington. "Making connections to these topics in algebra class can improve long-term understanding of algebraic ideas."

The study will begin in the Dallas Independent School District where 200 pre-Algebra students will be asked to "describe how linear relationships approximate what they encounter in their everyday lives, such as how they accumulate followers on Instagram or score points in a video game over time." Walkington hypothesizes that "authoring the stories will elicit students' interest in the content to be learned by drawing on their knowledge about home and community," the article said.

"Students often can't see the connection between their world and algebra," said Walkington. "Exploring ways to connect math to their lives, experiences and knowledge is critical for making it accessible and captivating. That's especially true when considering students from diverse backgrounds."

Walkington's study uses qualitative and quantitative methods to compare an experimental group to a control group. She will look at how "the intervention elicits students' interest in learning algebra, and at the impact on students' classroom discussions, on learning algebra concepts and promoting a positive outlook toward math."

Read the full story.

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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