Making Implicit Algebraic Thinking Explicit: Exploiting National Characteristics of German Approaches

Professorship/Faculty: Mathematics Education  
Author(s): Steinweg, Anna Susanne  ; Akinwunmi, Kathrin; Lenz, Denise
Title of the compilation: Teaching and Learning Algebraic Thinking with 5- to 12-Year-Olds: The Global Evolution of an Emerging Field of Research and Practice
Editors: Kieran, Carolyn
Publisher Information: Cham, Heidelberg : Springer International Publishing
Year of publication: 2018
Pages: 283-307
ISBN: 978-3-319-68350-8
Series ; Volume: ICME-13 Monographs
Language(s): English
German mathematics teaching-units in primary school lack explicit algebra learning environments. Then again, many national characteristics of teachers’ attitudes and beliefs, everyday school life in maths classes, and deep-seated approaches that expect children to communicate and argue about mathematical findings, provide favourable prerequisites for algebra. Moreover, the contents taught have the potential to address algebraic thinking if approached from a new perspective. Yet, teachers and children are mostly unaware of the algebraic potential of certain tasks. This chapter includes three studies with a special explicit focus on possible key ideas, children’s abilities, and challenges offered by tasks. These evaluated ideas illustrate in interweaving perspectives feasible approaches that enable teachers to integrate algebraic thinking into their classroom culture. Moreover, the implicitly given opportunities revealed by the special focus of each study are hoped to lead to a sensible acceptance of algebraic thinking in primary math classes and its curriculum.
Keywords: algebraic thinking, key ideas, awareness, generalization, patterns and structure
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Document Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Year of publication: 5. January 2018