FLAWS IN PROOF CONSTRUCTIONS OF POSTGRADUATE MATHEMATICS EDUCATION STUDENT TEACHERS

Zakaria Ndemo

Abstract


Intending to improve the teaching and learning of the notion of mathematical proof this study seeks to uncover the kinds of flaws in postgraduate mathematics education student teachers. Twenty-three student teachers responded to a proof task involving the concepts of transposition and multiplication of matrices. Analytic induction strategy that drew ideas from the literature on evaluating students’ proof understanding and Yang and Lin’s model of proof comprehension applied to informants’ written responses to detect the kinds of flaws in postgraduates’ proof attempts. The study revealed that the use of empirical verifications was dominant and in situations. Whereby participants attempted to argue using arbitrary mathematical objects, the cases considered did not represent the most general case. Flawed conceptualizations uncovered by this study can contribute to efforts directed towards fostering strong subject content command among school mathematics teachers.


Keywords


mathematical proof; transpose and multiplication of matrices; flawed conceptualisations; levels of proof comprehension

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22342/jme.10.3.7864.379-396

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Journal on Mathematics Education
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