I've been thinking about algebra's reputation a lot lately:
- What do we need to do to make algebra seem approachable and useFUL for everyone?
- How can we improve the way we rationalize algebra - so that our arguments are convincing and appealing to even the most jaded among us?
- What can I do in my own classroom, so that my students better understand both HOW to use algebra and WHAT algebra is useful for?
These questions have been driving my thoughts lately, most likely spurred by the heightened student frustration I have experienced as we switch gears from one semester to the next. There is nothing like a cumulative exam to dredge up student anxiety and feelings of hatred for the source of those anxieties!