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How does understanding fractions support algebra knowledge, and vice versa?

How does understanding fractions support algebra knowledge, and vice versa?

Mathematical understanding is critical for many life outcomes, from high school graduation to college access to career and economic prospects. Fractions and algebra are two domains of mathematics shown to be particularly important yet particularly difficult for students. Furthermore, researchers have found that success with fractions and algebra are closely related.

Our study will investigate relationships between these two areas of mathematics in 7th–9th grade students. Gaining greater insight into the factors that underpin fractions and algebra knowledge and how the two are related is critical to ultimately improving instruction and helping more students be successful.

Our Research

algebra equation line graph graphic of y equals x plus 3 and diagonal line

Algebra Knowledge

Algebra knowledge has been shown to be linked to other important life outcomes. It is often termed the “gatekeeper” to success.

one third fraction in pie chart graphic

Fraction Knowledge

Fraction knowledge is seen as the “key” to this gate, with fraction knowledge predicting algebra performance.

interdisciplinary approaches graphic: 2 strands intertwining upwards into an arrow

Interdisciplinary Approach

Our project brings together two strands of research to uncover the important links between fractions and algebra.

Looking to participate?

We are looking for participants in 7th, 8th, or 9th grade who are located in the United States.

Beginning June 15, students who are entering 7th, 8th, and 9th grade in the fall of 2024 are eligible to participate in this study.
student working on a computer

Phase 1 Data Collection

We are currently collecting data with 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-graders in the cross-sectional phase of our study. For more information on phase 1 and phase 2 of our study, see the “About” page.