Research Issues in the Learning and Teaching of Algebra - Vol. 4

By Sigrid Wagner; Carolyn Kieran | Go to book overview

Part II
A Research Agenda

An Agenda for Research on the Learning and Teaching of Algebra

Sigrid Wagner Department of Mathematics Education University of Georgia

Carolyn Kieran Département de Mathématiques et d'Informatique Université du Québec à Montréal

One of the goals of the Research Agenda Conference on the Learning and Teaching of Algebra was to develop an agenda for future research. Toward this end, small-group sessions were scheduled during the conference for the purpose of generating questions that should be researched in order to advance our knowledge of the learning and teaching of algebra. A draft of the agenda was circulated toward the end of the conference, and additional items were suggested by participants in oral and written comments. A few more items were added by the editors to reflect points made in the conference papers and large-group discussions. The agenda presented here is thus an edited and elaborated version of the working group's thinking up to 1988. We hope that the questions listed below will stimulate some attempts at answers; we are confident that they will, at the very least, stimulate further questions.

Before looking at the agenda itself, it will be helpful to consider some of the major themes that emanated from the conference. To a large extent, these are the same themes that run throughout the current algebra research literature and which, naturally enough, underlie most of the agenda for future research. In the section that follows, we present one possible framework for organizing ideas from the literature review papers in Part I of this volume. We have also tried to summarize in very general terms our current state of knowledge on a few research topics, but we have in no way done justice to the wealth of information and variety of perspectives reflected at the conference. We leave it to the reader to consult the conference papers and other primary resources for further details.

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