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The Visual Syntax of Algebra

David Kirshner
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 20, No. 3 (May, 1989), pp. 274-287
DOI: 10.2307/749516
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/749516
Page Count: 14
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The Visual Syntax of Algebra
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Abstract

A structured system of visual features can be seen to parallel the propositional hierarchy of operations usually associated with the parsing of algebraic expressions. Some students (proportionately more women than men) were found to depend on these visual cues in their syntactic decision making. Others were found to have access to sound propositional rules. Possible causes and consequences of these different syntactic representation styles are discussed.

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