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ERIC Number: EJ1016952
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Mathematical Observations: The Genesis of Mathematical Discovery in the Classroom
Beaugris, Louis M.
For the Learning of Mathematics, v33 n1 p27-32 2013
In his "Proofs and Refutations," Lakatos identifies the "Primitive Conjecture" as the first stage in the pattern of mathematical discovery. In this article, I am interested in ways of reaching the "Primitive Conjecture" stage in an undergraduate classroom. I adapted Realistic Mathematics Education methods in an abstract algebra class for the guided reinvention of quotient group concepts. From classroom instructional design experiments, students used mathematical observations to reach and prove "primitive conjectures." I conclude that mathematical observations form an important aid in making and proving conjectures and play the same role as observations in the scientific method.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A