Texas A&M University researchers... have found that not fully understanding the "equal sign" in a math problem could be a key to why U.S. students underperform their peers from other countries in math.
"About 70 percent of middle grades students in the United States exhibit misconceptions, but nearly none of the international students in Korea and China have a misunderstanding about the equal sign, and Turkish students exhibited far less incidence of the misconception than the U.S. students."
The problem is students memorize procedures without fully understanding the mathematics.
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