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ERIC Number: EJ1151451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2147-611X
Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Conceptions of Counterexamples
Zeybek, Zulfiye
International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, v5 n4 p295-316 2017
This study aimed at investigating two main issues related to counterexample construction: the appropriateness of counterexamples and the types of arguments that are often used when refuting a false conjecture. Twelve pre-service elementary teachers who demonstrated a wide range of reasoning skills participated in this study. The data revealed various phenomena among preservice teachers' conceptions of refutations. While all participants who demonstrated deductive reasoning were aware of the fact that one counterexample was sufficient to refute a false statement, the majority of the participants who had not yet developed deductive reasoning failed to recognize that one counterexample would be enough and/or they tend to believe that providing more than one counterexample would support the argument further to refute the statement. Furthermore, the participants from the deductive proof scheme attempted to construct a general refutation or to provide a justification for their constructed counterexamples while the participants from different proof schemes only provided specific counterexamples without further explanation or justification. This study also documented various misconceptions that PSTs held regarding to the underlying concepts in which they were being asked to refute--the concepts of area and perimeter or quadrilaterals--and how their misconceptions affected their constructed counterexamples or decisions as to whether the presented statements were true or false.
International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology. Necmettin Erbakan University, Ahmet Kelesoglu Education Faculty, Meram, Konya, 42090, Turkey. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A