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ERIC Number: EJ879344
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
How Technology Can Promote the Learning of Proof
Muller, Kimberly O.
Mathematics Teacher, v103 n6 p436-441 Feb 2010
While serving in the U.S. Congress, Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught learner, mastered Euclid's Elements (Basler 1953). Most students today do not study mathematics for recreation. Unlike Lincoln, they need a little help in learning how to write a geometry proof. Today's technology--specifically, The Geometer's Sketchpad[R] (GSP)--can help make learning to write proof easier and more exciting. The practice of proof writing is one of the most challenging subjects to teach in the secondary school mathematics curriculum and in the mathematics education curriculum for preservice teachers. Many students consider themselves good at mathematics because they are good at learning the procedures needed to solve problems. However, these same students may balk at solving a word problem or writing a proof. Such aversion is due largely to the fact that no general algorithm exists that tells a student how to approach and write a proof. For this reason, the subject is difficult to teach. In this article, the author outlines her approach to teaching geometry to secondary school preservice teachers, a method that can be applied to a high school geometry class as well. GSP can be used as a construction tool as well as a medium for discovery and conjecture. Although there is no simple step-by-step process for writing proofs, modern technology can aid in writing geometry proofs in a way that the traditional compass and straightedge never could. (Contains 6 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; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A