The attainment and retention of later algebra skills in high school has been identified as a factor significantly impacting students’ postsecondary success as STEM majors. Researchers maintain that learners develop meaning for algebraic procedures by forming connections to the basic number system properties. In the present study, the connections students form between algebraic procedures and basic number properties in the context of rational expressions was investigated. An assessment given to 107 undergraduate students in Precalculus that contained three pairs of closely matched algebraic and numeric rational expressions was analyzed. McNemar’s test indicated that the undergraduate students’ abilities related to algebraic rational expressions and rational numbers were significantly different, although serious deficiencies were noted in both cases. A weak intercorrelation was found in only one of the three pairs of problems, suggesting that the students have not formed connections between algebraic procedures and basic number properties.
"Connected Representations of Knowledge: Do Undergraduate Students Relate Algebraic Rational Expressions to Rational Numbers?,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 25:
4, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol25/iss4/4