• Eliminate the substitution or substitute the elimination?

      Hammond, Ricardo S. (2013-01-25)
      This research examines the different methods used for solving systems of equations, how those methods are taught, and how they can be applied to real world situations. More specifically, this research examines which of these methods student tend to favor, as well as whether or not students can properly apply the concept of systems of equations to real world situations. “It is hypothesized that high school algebra students will use substitution over elimination when solving systems of equations, and that students who have not been previously introduced to any method will naturally use “guess-and-check.” Furthermore, it is hypothesized that students’ general approach to solving systems of equations is “procedural,” causing them to score higher on algebraic-type problems than on word problems". It was determined that students who had already been instructed on solving systems of equations were likely to favor substitution over other methods. It was also concluded that students who had not yet been instructed on solving systems of equations had a tendency to favor guess-and-check over other methods. Furthermore, students performed better on the algebraic problems than the word problems. Many students approached the word problems differently than how they approached the algebraic problems. Regardless of the methods used in the algebraic problems, many students abandoned those methods when attempting the word problems.--