Developing students' Algebraic thinking in a grade VI Mathematics classroom in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Munira Amirali


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Developing students’ algebraic thinking continues to be one of the major challenges for teachers. Among numerous reasons of the challenges in developing algebraic thinking, one of the prominent reasons is the traditional talk-and-chalk method, which focuses more on solving algorithms based on memorized rules. This study is an attempt to investigate how strategies i.e. pattern-seeking, storytelling, manipulatives (Algebra Tiles) and real-life situations facilitate students in developing their algebraic thinking. For this purpose, I employed action research based on qualitative research approach with six students of grade VI in a private school of Karachi, Pakistan. The study entails three cycles, each cycle has lessons incorporating various activities and tasks. In the intervention stage, observation and textbook analysis provide insights into the teacher’s existing practices and students’ cognitive level. During the intervention stage, lessons were executed along with various tasks based on the above-cited strategies, and in the post-intervention stage, the researcher gathered students’ learning experiences. Data collection sources i.e. critical friend non-participant observation, reflective journal, students’ work samples revealed students have developed their algebraic thinking and understood the transition from arithmetic to algebra. Also, the findings indicated that the above-cited strategies enhanced students’ participation and motivation towards the subject.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library