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ERIC Number: EJ1211369
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Students' Pronominal Sense of Reference in Mathematics
Dawkins, Paul Christian
For the Learning of Mathematics, v39 n1 p18-23 2019
This paper sets forth a construct that describes how many undergraduate students understand mathematical terms to refer to mathematical objects, namely that they only refer to those objects that satisfy the term. I call this students' pronominal sense of reference (PSR) because it means they treat terms as pronouns that point to objects, like "that." The paper compares this account of reference with those assumed in common mathematical logic instruction. I demonstrate how propositional logic imposes unnatural uses of language on students while predicate logic is more natural to naïve language use and mathematical language use, when developed properly.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A