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ERIC Number: EJ906676
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0045-0685
A Lakatosian Encounter with Probability
Chick, Helen
Australian Mathematics Teacher, v66 n4 p32-40 2010
There is much to be learned and pondered by reading "Proofs and Refutations" by Imre Lakatos (Lakatos, 1976). It highlights the importance of mathematical definitions, and how definitions evolve to capture the essence of the object they are defining. It also provides an exhilarating encounter with the ups and downs of the mathematical reasoning process, where conjectures are proposed, countered, and justified. The main part of the book has its mathematical home in the domain of three-dimensional geometry, and Lakatos uses the literary device of presenting, in script form, the dialogue of a cast of Greek-letter-named characters as they debate definitions, proofs, and counterexamples in a classroom. Recently, however, this author observed a probability game that raised a number of interesting issues about how probability is learned, understood, and reasoned with. The author describes a Lakatosian encounter with probability, and presents the probability game she uses in her class, which begins with Lakatosian characters. (Contains 2 footnotes and 1 note.)
Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). GPO Box 1729, Adelaide 5001, South Australia. Tel: +61-8-8363-0288; Fax: +61-8-8362-9288; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A