Jackie Rivers, Algebra Project Coordinator, and Claude Snead, Algebra Project Intern, talk about the benefits of the Algebra Project (QuickTime slide show 476k). Excerpted from NCREL's videoseries, Schools That Work: The Research Advantage, videoconference 2, Children as Problem Solvers (NCREL, 1991).
The Algebra Project is an interactive curriculum designed to help inner-city and rural students better understand mathematical concepts. Developed by Bob Moses, a mathematician and civil rights leader, the curriculum calls for students to follow a five-step process in which they use their physical surroundings as tangible references for mathematical ideas.
As the first step in the process, students experience an event, such as a train ride or a field trip to several different places. Students then create a model or pictures of the event and write about it in an informal and creative manner. The language used to describe the event is then formalized so that it accurately depicts the activity. Finally, students develop a symbolic representation of the event using mathematical concepts.
The Algebra Project is being used in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and other urban school districts across the country, where it has benefited from the support of community organizations, and in rural areas, as in the Mississippi Delta Project. Many parents also have helped implement the project and have provided classroom support to teachers.
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