Much of the neuroimaging research has focused on how mathematical operations are performed. Although this body of research has provided insight for the refinement of pedagogy, there are very few neuroimaging studies on how mathematical operations should be taught. In this article, we describe the teaching of algebra in Singapore schools and the imperatives that led us to develop two neuroimaging studies that examined questions of curricular concerns. One of the challenges was to condense issues from classrooms into tasks suitable for neuroimaging studies. Another challenge, not particular to the neuroimaging method, was to draw suitable inferences from the findings and translate them into pedagogical practices. We describe our efforts and outline some continuing challenges.