The purpose of this research is to compare American and Albanian students’ achievement in Algebra 1 and to identify the educational practices that influence students’ achievement in each country. The study compared algebraic solving abilities of 242 ninth-grade American students in Grand Forks (U.S.) and 219 students in Durres (Albania). The data collection instrument consisted of a Texas publicly-released standardized test and a student questionnaire. The test focused on the Algebra 1 knowledge covered during the academic year 2006-2007, whereas the questionnaire attempted to measure students’ perceptions of educational practices exerted in their classrooms and communities. The results showed that Albanian students outperformed American students in both overall achievement and algebraic representation skills. The first difference was significant at .05 level whereas the second difference was not significant. Albanian students seem more involved than their American peers in practices, such as studying textbooks for understanding and test-taking, reading for enjoyment, and learning for the next day. Compared to Americans, Albanian students seem more satisfied with being in school and learning mathematics, and view mathematics as conducive to entering a college or university. American students, on the other hand, seem more concerned than Albanians about using and requiring calculators, spending out-of-school time with friends, sport activities, and electronic games. For them studying mathematics is about understanding other classes of high school curriculum Algebraic achievement of Albanian and American students seem to be affected by four and six educational practices, respectively.
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