• Gabriel J. StylianidesEmail author
  • Andreas J. Stylianides
  • Leah N. Shilling-Traina


The activity of reasoning-and-proving is at the heart of mathematical sense making and is important for all students’ learning as early as the elementary grades. Yet, reasoning-and-proving tends to have a marginal place in elementary school classrooms. This situation can be partly attributed to the fact that many (prospective) elementary teachers have (1) weak mathematical (subject matter) knowledge about reasoning-and-proving and (2) counterproductive beliefs about its teaching. Following up on an intervention study that helped a group of prospective elementary teachers make significant progress in overcoming these two major obstacles to teaching reasoning-and-proving, we examined the challenges that three of them identified that they faced as they planned and taught lessons related to reasoning-and-proving in their mentor teachers’ classrooms. Our findings contribute to research knowledge about major factors (other than the well-known factors related to teachers’ mathematical knowledge and beliefs) that deserve attention by teacher education programs in preparing prospective teachers to teach reasoning-and-proving.

Key words

elementary school mathematical reasoning mathematics teaching proof prospective teachers teacher education 


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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel J. Stylianides
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andreas J. Stylianides
    • 2
  • Leah N. Shilling-Traina
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceLongwood UniversityFarmvilleUSA

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