Skip to comments.Students failing algebra rarely recover
Posted on 12/01/2012 2:31:36 PM PST by thecodont
California students who fail algebra and repeat the course are pretty much doomed to fail again, a vicious cycle that wastes limited resources and precious learning time, according to a report released Friday.
Just over a third of students in the 24 school districts studied had to repeat Algebra I either in ninth or 10th grade, yet even after a second year of study, relatively few were proficient in the subject.
Of those who took the class in eighth grade and repeated it as freshmen, just 1 in 5 scored at a proficient level on standardized tests. And of those who repeated as sophomores, 9 percent were proficient.
"These results provide powerful evidence that school systems are struggling to successfully teach, or reteach, mathematics to students who are not already performing well in math by the time they reach middle school," said Neal Finkelstein, the lead researcher on the study, which was commissioned by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd. ...
All told, half of all students in the study repeated algebra, geometry or Algebra II.
Yet many students retake the same course taught the same way, sometimes by the same teacher, according to the authors.
Researchers found that the majority of students who were proficient in Algebra I at the end of eighth grade followed an accelerated math track of geometry in ninth grade and Algebra II in 10th grade.
And those students made up the vast majority - 75 percent - of all those in their class who would ever become proficient in algebra by high school graduation.
Not a single student who earned below a grade of D in seventh-grade math went on to take calculus in high school, according to researchers.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Everyone learns math differently. If the method of teaching failed to teach, trying the same thing again is not really going to work if the student was motivated.
Now that is funny considering all the crappy stuff publik skoolz do and spend money on.
His first lesson was...."First.....forget everything your teacher said".
Let's take a look at the math teachers.
I was awful in algebra. I scored barely well enough to advance to geometry. One day in geometry I had a B.F. Skinner-type “white light” moment. From that moment on I was an A student in math and went on to major in Math at college.
You have to share. I tried looking it up but no success.
Good for you! Most people never have such a moment. How did yours happen for you?
True, so true.
1) Must want to learn it, or wasting time.
2)Instructor must be capable of explainng it in a way to enable understanding by the motivated student.
I still remember my grades in 10th grade second year algebra, 3 D’s and C. Well in college I took college algebra and earned a B. Still later four quarters of calculs and differential equations-all A’s and
Bs. Linear algebra and matrix algebra-A’s. Part of it was me, part of it was probably the book and the teacher.
But mostly I got older, more mature, and my reading skills improved.
Skinner used to say that learning can and should continue throughout life and referred to the joy of intellectual illumination as concepts became clear. And sure enough, that moment where the previous years algebra and all subsequent math learning just made sense was, as I recall, almost orgasmic. I’ve yearned to repeat that sensation but have fallen short in the following half century.
Let's tell the truth here: Teachers failing to teach algebra rarely recover.
Few public school teachers could pass second or third grade plusses, minuses, timeses, and gazintas; let alone teach eighth or ninth grade algebra or geometry.
I can't say for sure. I suspect I just recognized patterns more effectively in geometry, which is more visual. It (algebra) all beclame clear in an instant. Sorry, that's the best way that I can describe it.
Algebra is largely unimportant in most peoples lives. How to manage finances etc. should be the major emphasis of general higher mathematical education.
In college I survived college algebra, trig, analytic geometry and calculus.
My qualified opinion:
If things aren't right at home there ain't nothing gonna work - some kid's in trouble.
Get things straightened out at home and a talented person who GAF can make a world of difference for a young person.
I can recall a particular conversation I had with a gentleman who taught math at a certain university near my home that I credit with making the difference for me. It took him about 30 minutes to convince me that I could learn math.
I don't even recall the guy's name any more but he made a difference in my situation simply because he GAF.
Sometimes called an Epiphany. I’ve had that feeling several time while in flight training. All of a sudden something made sense. I did finally find about it by searching just his name.
>> Just over a third of students in the 24 school districts studied had to repeat Algebra I either in ninth or 10th grade,
That’s pathetic. No doubt a consequence of the elementary curriculum.