Heading toward Equality, Preservice Teachers’ Interventions to Change Students’ Conceptions of the Equal Sign
Investigations in Mathematics Learning
Research indicates that a large percentage of students have misconceptions of the equal sign and that this can be detrimental to their mathematical pursuits as they progress through algebra. In order for students to develop a strong understanding of the meaning of the equal sign, algebra teachers must be aware of the viewpoints their students will hold pertaining to the equal sign and strategies to encourage a relational view of the equal sign and a progression of sophistication within the relational spectrum. In an algebra course for preservice teachers, we created a project where they investigated students’ conceptions of the equal sign and determined interventions to foster more productive views. The purpose of our study was to examine our preservice teachers’ ability to differentiate between the various students’ conceptions of the equal sign, to determine which teacher interventions resonated well with the preservice teachers, and to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the project. This article will also outline ideas for other mathematics teacher educators that wish to implement similar practice-based teaching experiences in their content courses and potential paths of future research.
Santarone, D., Abney, A. R., & Samples, B. (2020). Heading toward Equality, Preservice Teachers’ Interventions to Change Students’ Conceptions of the Equal Sign. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 12(3), 208-225.