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Early Algebra

Research into its Nature, its Learning, its Teaching

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2016

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  • Provides a brief history of the early algebra movement and its evolution
  • Discusses the nature of early algebra, its processes, and its mathematical content
  • Gives an overview of research on early algebra learning
  • Gives an overview of research on the teaching of early algebra, including the need for professional support for the teacher of early algebra
  • Presents a neurocognitive perspective on early algebra

Part of the book series: ICME-13 Topical Surveys (ICME13TS)

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Table of contents (3 chapters)


About this book

This survey of the state of the art on research in early algebra traces the evolution of a relatively new field of research and teaching practice. With its focus on the younger student, aged from about 6 years up to 12 years, this volume reveals the nature of the research that has been carried out in early algebra and how it has shaped the growth of the field. The survey, in presenting examples drawn from the steadily growing research base, highlights both the nature of algebraic thinking and the ways in which this thinking is being developed in the primary and early middle school student. Mathematical relations, patterns, and arithmetical structures lie at the heart of early algebraic activity, with processes such as noticing, conjecturing, generalizing, representing, justifying, and communicating being central to students’ engagement.


“It is a quick read and provides a good feel for the state of affairs in early algebra research. There is plenty of exciting work to be done in this young field … . Current and would-be researchers can take advantage of the extensive bibliography: 129 references along with pointers to four plenary papers that were presented at ICME13 and are suggested for further reading.” (David A. Huckaby, MAA Reviews, September, 2016)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Departement de Mathematiques, Professor Emerita, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal, Canada

    Carolyn Kieran

  • Department of Elementary Education, Korea National University of Education, Department of Elementary Education, Chungbuk, Korea (Republic of)

    JeongSuk Pang

  • Education Development Center, Waltham, USA

    Deborah Schifter

  • Mathematics and Mathematics Education , Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, Singapore, Singapore

    Swee Fong Ng

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Early Algebra

  • Book Subtitle: Research into its Nature, its Learning, its Teaching

  • Authors: Carolyn Kieran, JeongSuk Pang, Deborah Schifter, Swee Fong Ng

  • Series Title: ICME-13 Topical Surveys

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-32257-5Published: 20 July 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-32258-2Published: 11 July 2016

  • Series ISSN: 2366-5947

  • Series E-ISSN: 2366-5955

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VIII, 42

  • Number of Illustrations: 7 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Mathematics Education, Learning & Instruction, Teaching and Teacher Education

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