math

Traditional algebra instruction doesn’t work, new study by EvCC instructor shows

Press Release

Release Date: Nov. 23, 2016

Contact: Christopher Quarles, EvCC Math Instructor, 425-388-9977; cquarles@everettcc.edu

Traditional algebra instruction doesn’t work, new study by EvCC instructor shows

Photo: EvCC math instructor Christopher Quarles. 

EVERETT, Wash. – Remember wondering “When am I ever going to use this?” in your algebra class?

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Remember wondering “When am I ever going to use this?” in your algebra class? As it turns out, the answer to that question is just as important as knowing how to solve for x. Solving algebra problems without real-world context does not prepare students to succeed in college-level math classes, according to a recent study co-authored by Everett Community College math instructor Christopher Quarles. “Math skills are most valuable when they’re connected to what students already understand,” Quarles said. “Students seem to forget how to do algebra problems within a few months, unless the problems were connected with real-world applications or represented math in multiple ways, such as graphs.”