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8. Common challenges for learners – understanding conventions


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:30 by NZTecAdmin

Algebra has conventions about how symbols are displayed. These conventions can sometimes be in conflict with what learners know about numbers.

For example, in algebra 3p represents “p multiplied by three” but in numbers 3_ means “thirty something”. Where co-efficients are involved like 3p (3 is the co-efficient) there are missing multiplication signs, i.e. In 3p the x is missing from 3 x p.

To make matters worth, when we write p + 3p we neglect to tell learners that p could be written as 1 x p.

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