Generalisation is a key feature of learning algebra, requiring all four proficiency strands of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics (AC:M): Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning. From a review of the literature, we propose a learning progression for algebraic generalisation consisting of five levels. Our learning progression is then elaborated and validated by reference to a large range of assessment tasks acquired from a previous project Reframing Mathematical Futures II (RMFII). In the RMFII project, Rasch modelling of the responses of over 5000 high school students (Years 7–10) to algebra tasks led to the development of a Learning Progression for Algebraic Reasoning (LPAR). Our learning progression in generalisation is more specific than the LPAR, more coherent regarding algebraic generalisation, and enabling teachers to locate students’ performances within the progression and to target their teaching. In addition, a selection of appropriate teaching resources and marking rubrics used in the RMFII project is provided for each level of the learning progression.


algebraic thinking, generalisation, reasoning, mathematical concepts, knowledge development, middle years

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