ERIC Number: ED476631
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Investigating the Teaching and Learning of Proof: First Year Results.
Martin, Tami S.; McCrone, Sharon Soucy
Although proof and reasoning are seen as fundamental components of learning mathematics, research shows that many students continue to struggle with geometric proofs. In order to relate pedagogical methods to students' understanding of geometric proof, this 3-year project focuses on 2 components of student understanding of proof, namely, students' beliefs about what constitutes a proof and students' proof-construction ability. The classroom environments in the first year of the study were generally teacher-centered learning environments in which proof was logical exercise rather than a tool for establishing a convincing argument. Students harbored several ill-founded beliefs including: general claims may be established on the basis of checking critical examples, the form of an argument is more important than its chain of logical reasoning, and proofs are only valid for their associated diagrams, even if specific features of the diagram are not incorporated into the proof. In addition, students had great difficulty constructing proofs unless the key relationships necessary to establish the proof were outlined for them. (Author)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Geometry, High School Students, Learning Problems, Mathematical Logic, Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving, Secondary Education, Student Attitudes, Thinking Skills
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (23rd, Snowbird, Utah, October 18-21, 2001). p585-94. For full proceedings, see SE 065 231-232.