Curriculum documents make a clear distinction between algebraic skills and algebraic reasoning, where the development of the former is far more readily articulated than the latter. While there are many studies of algebraic reasoning, these are usually topic specific and/or highly contextual. What are the big ideas of algebraic reasoning and is it possible to map their learning trajectory? This paper reports on the preliminary phase of a large national study in Australia which is designed to move beyond the hypothetical and to provide an evidence-based foundation for a learning progression. Using rich assessment tasks designed for middle years students of mathematics, this paper reports on the method of analysis used and some preliminary findings.


mathematics, algebraic reasoning, evidence-based study, Reframing Mathematical Futures II (RMFII) Project (2014-2017), Australia

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