### Abstract

Students’ algebraic proficiency is debated worldwide. To investigate the development of algebraic proficiency in Dutch secondary education, we set up a study, in which 1020 students in grades 8 – 12 took four algebra tests over a period of one year. Rasch analysis of the results shows that the students do make progress throughout the assessment, but that this progress is small. A qualitative analysis of test items that invite structure sense reveals that students’ lack of structure sense may explain the results: the majority of the students were not able to deal flexibly with the mathematical structure of expressions and equations. More attention to structure sense in algebra education is recommended.

### License

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, 2013, Volume 8, Issue 2-3, 62-80

https://doi.org/10.29333/iejme/274

Publication date: 10 Nov 2013

Article Views: 3109

Article Downloads: 3503

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