“Just solving for x”: Retrospective narratives of opportunities of learn on hyper-accelerated algebra I pathways
The study of Algebra I in Grade 7 or earlier in the United States is often a marker of mathematical competence in competition for elite college admissions. Students who hyper-accelerate their study of Algebra I are presumed to be successful from a content perspective of opportunity to learn (OTL) which uses standardized test scores and completed course transcripts as metrics. This phenomenological study layers two narrative analysis techniques to interpret OTL in the retrospective stories of 15 hyper-accelerated students who graduated from the same high school. Selection for Grade 7 Algebra I was a necessity to preserve their identities of smartness. As they reflected upon their OTL in subsequent courses, participants described evolving beliefs about themselves as being “good” at mathematics in terms of competition, help seeking, conceptual understanding, and appropriate challenge seeking. Their lived experiences raise critical questions about tracking and equitable access to meaningful mathematics for all students.
Journal of Mathematical Behavior
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Galanti. (2021). “Just solving for x”: Retrospective narratives of opportunities of learn on hyper-accelerated algebra I pathways. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 62, 100860–. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmathb.2021.100860