Cover: Algebraic Thinking Tools

Algebraic Thinking Tools

Supports for Modeling Situations and Solving Problems in Kids' Worlds

Published 1989

by David J. McArthur, Matthew W. Lewis, Tor Ormseth, Abby Robyn, Cathy Stasz, Donald Voreck

Download

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback15 pages $20.00

This Note describes several versions of an intelligent tutor for basic algebra that has been in development at RAND since 1986. The versions of the tutor are built around several core components, including an algebra expert system and a student modeling component that can make inferences about misconceptions underlying students' errors. The different versions help students learn distinct kinds of mathematical reasoning skills. The Note discusses the equation-solving tutor, which focuses on the acquisition of relatively low-level symbol manipulation skills. It reviews the model-building tutor, a recent version that helps students acquire important mathematical reasoning skills that are not part of most algebra curricula, including the ability to formulate a mathematical model of real-world situations and to test mathematical hypotheses. Finally, it discusses the implications of the tutors for curriculum change. The authors note how the pedagogical approach implicit in the tutor diverges from most classroom teaching principles. While traditional classrooms often engage in isolated and bottom-up practice, the authors advocate embedded and global-before-local practice.

This report is part of the RAND note series. The note was a product of RAND from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.