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Re: [Phys-l] Ca mandates 8th-grade algebra test

My estimate comes straight from the Lawson Piagetian test published in his
book. 75% of the honors students do exhibit proportional reasoning while
only 25% of the regular students exhibit proportional reasoning. Since the
really low students do not take physics 30% is a reasonable estimate for
proportional reasoning.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX


I would venture to guess that the students in your private prep school
probably are more likely to be at the formal operational level than those
in average public schools, so your 30% estimate may be a bit high.

Mark Shapiro

-----Original Message-----

According to Shayer & Adey students need to be at the formal operational
level to be able to understand a 3 variable equation such as F=ma. Since
only about 30% of US students are capable of understanding proportionality
when they are seniors in HS, algebra is literally impossible for most
students even in HS. Pushing advanced abstract concepts down to lower
grades is absurd when students do not understand proportional reasoning or
conservation reasoning.

Incidentally the 30% figure comes from my testing of students in a college
prep private school in Houston.

If this seems a bit late on the topic, it is because I have been on a
boat tour of Russia for 2 weeks.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX