# Preservice Middle School Mathematics Teachers’ Definitions of Algebraic Expression and Equation

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## DOI:

https://doi.org/10.33200/ijcer.755359## Keywords:

Preservice teachers, algebraic expression, equation## Abstract

Using correct definitions of the mathematical concepts is crucial for learning and teaching of any mathematical content. Being able to make mathematically correct definition of the concepts is an indicator of teachers’ content knowledge. The purpose of this study is to determine how preservice middle school mathematics teachers define the concept of algebraic expression and equation. The participants of this case study were 35 preservice middle school mathematics teachers. The data were collected through written exam and semi-structured interviews. Written exam includes two questions asking preservice teachers to define equation and algebraic expression and write an example of each. Only 9 of participants correctly defined algebraic expression. Preservice teachers’ definitions of algebraic expression were classified under three themes which are expressions containing unknown, expressions containing equality, and mathematical expressions. Two themes arose from preservice teachers’ definition of equation: expressions with unknown, and expressions with equality.

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*International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research*,

*7*(2), 156–164. https://doi.org/10.33200/ijcer.755359

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