ERIC Number: EJ1044915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
High School Mathematics Teachers' Perspectives on the Purposes of Mathematical Proof in School Mathematics
Dickerson, David S.; Doerr, Helen M.
Mathematics Education Research Journal, v26 n4 p711-733 Dec 2014
Proof serves many purposes in mathematics. In this qualitative study of 17 high school mathematics teachers, we found that these teachers perceived that two of the most important purposes for proof in school mathematics were (a) to enhance students' mathematical understanding and (b) to develop generalized thinking skills that were transferable to other fields of endeavor. We found teachers were divided on the characteristics (or features) of proofs that would serve these purposes. Teachers with less experience tended to believe that proofs in the high school should adhere to strict standards of language and reasoning while teachers with more experience tended to believe that proofs based on concrete or visual features were well suited for high school mathematics. This study has implications for teacher preparation because it appears that there is a wide variation in how teachers think about proof. It seems likely that students would experience proof very differently merely because they were seated in different classrooms.
Descriptors: Secondary School Teachers, Secondary School Mathematics, High School Students, Mathematics Instruction, Qualitative Research, Validity, Mathematical Logic, Concept Formation, Mathematical Concepts, Thinking Skills, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A