Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 389–399

Proving is convincing and explaining

  • Reuben Hersh

DOI: 10.1007/BF01273372

Cite this article as:
Hersh, R. Educ Stud Math (1993) 24: 389. doi:10.1007/BF01273372


In mathematical research, the purpose of proof is to convince. The test of whether something is a proof is whether it convinces qualified judges. In the classroom, on the other hand, the purpose of proof is to explain. Enlightened use of proofs in the mathematics classroom aims to stimulate the students' understanding, not to meet abstract standards of “rigor” or “honesty.”

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reuben Hersh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerque

Personalised recommendations