Importance Of Proofs Of Teaching Mathematical Proofs

884 Words4 Pages
For many math students around the world, proofs are dreaded; they are seen as pointless memorization of obvious ideas. These are most student’s beliefs because they have never truly been taught or experienced the true purposes of proofs. Zaslavsky, Nickerson, Stylianides, Kidron, and Winicki-Landman (2012) write to discuss the importance of teaching mathematical proofs in school. They continue on to express reasons why students need proofs and the multiple ways in which teachers can facilitate the learning and importance of proofs to their students. Zaslavsky et al. (2012) cite numerous reasons for the importance of proofs, but the most prominent reasons include strengthening student’s ability to communicate mathematical knowledge, to instill problem solving skills and methods, and lastly, to fulfill human intellectual needs. Each of these reasons have been supported by research, and also come with challenges and concerns. The most basic reason Zaslavsky et al. (2012) cite as to why proofs should be taught in school is because doing so can increase and strengthen student’s abilities to communicate mathematical knowledge. Most students are more than capable of applying formulas and solving the problems presented to them in classes with a little practice. A majority of these students, however, have no clue as to why the methods they are using work, or if they will work with any set of numbers they are presented (Yopp, 2009). Proof researcher David Yopp (2009) has observed
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