Teaching proof in the context of physics

Gila Hanna, Ysbrand de Bruyn, Nathan Camillo Sidoli, Dennis Lomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes an application of statics to geometrical proofs in the classroom. The aim of the study was to find out whether the use of concepts and arguments from statics can help students understand and produce proofs of geometrical theorems. The two theorems studied were: (1) that the medians in a triangle meet at a single point which is the centre of gravity of the triangle, and (2) the Varignon theorem, that the lines joining the midpoints of successive sides of a quadrilateral form a parallelogram. The classroom experiment showed that most students were successful in using arguments from statics in their proofs, and that they gained a better understanding of the theorems. These findings lend support to the claim that the introduction of statics helps students produce proofs and grasp their meaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

physics
Physics
Teaching
Varignon's theorem
Triangle
classroom
student
Theorem
Parallelogram
Centre of gravity
Midpoint
Joining
experiment
Context
Line
Experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)

Cite this

Teaching proof in the context of physics. / Hanna, Gila; de Bruyn, Ysbrand; Sidoli, Nathan Camillo; Lomas, Dennis.

In: ZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2004, p. 82-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hanna, Gila ; de Bruyn, Ysbrand ; Sidoli, Nathan Camillo ; Lomas, Dennis. / Teaching proof in the context of physics. In: ZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education. 2004 ; Vol. 36, No. 3. pp. 82-90.
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