When, how, and why prove theorems? A methodology for studying the perspective of geometry teachers

Patricio Herbst, Takeshi Miyakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


While every theorem has a proof in mathematics, in US geometry classrooms not every theorem is proved. How can one explain the practitioner's perspective on which theorems deserve proof? Toward providing an account of the practical rationality with which practitioners handle the norm that every theorem has a proof we have designed a methodology that relies on representing classroom instruction using animations. We use those animations to trigger commentary from experienced practitioners. In this article we illustrate how we model instructional situations as systems of norms and how we create animated stories that represent a situation. We show how the study of those stories as prototypes of a basic model can help anticipate the response from practitioners as well as suggest issues to be considered in improving a model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-486
Number of pages18
JournalZDM - International Journal on Mathematics Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Dec 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)

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