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ERIC Number: EJ862755
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Connecting Research to Teaching: Count on Number Theory to Inspire Proof
Quinn, Anne Larson
Mathematics Teacher, v103 n4 p298-307 Nov 2009
Many students find proofs frustrating, and teachers struggle with how to help students write proofs. In fact, it is well documented that most students who have studied proofs in high school geometry courses do not master them and do not understand their function. And yet, according to NCTM's "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" (2000), "By the end of secondary school, students should be able to understand and produce mathematical proofs ... and should appreciate the value of such arguments." Research suggests that teachers should determine the justifications that students find convincing and then provide activities that will refine their reasoning abilities toward a goal of reaching deductive proof. Although this process may take time, students of all ages can develop their reasoning abilities by participating in a classroom culture in which they use arguments to establish mathematical truth. This article suggests and discusses some instructional activities that have helped students refine their proof abilities as they studied high school-level mathematics in a manner recommended by Guershon Harel and Larry Sowder (2007). (Contains 1 table and 8 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A