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KNOWLEDGE USE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF GEOMETRY PROOF BY SRI LANKAN STUDENTS

  • Mohan ChinnappanEmail author
  • Madduma B. Ekanayake
  • Christine Brown
Article

ABSTRACT

Within the domain of geometry, proof and proof development continues to be a problematic area for students. Battista (2007) suggested that the investigation of knowledge components that students bring to understanding and constructing geometry proofs could provide important insights into the above issue. This issue also features prominently in the deliberations of the 2009 International Commission on Mathematics Instruction Study on the learning and teaching of proofs in mathematics, in general, and geometry, in particular. In the study reported here, we consider knowledge use by a cohort of 166 Sri Lankan students during the construction of geometry proofs. Three knowledge components were hypothesised to influence the students’ attempts at proof development: geometry content knowledge, general problem-solving skills and geometry reasoning skills. Regression analyses supported our conjecture that all 3 knowledge components played important functions in developing proofs. We suggest that whilst students have to acquire a robust body of geometric content knowledge, the activation and the utilisation of this knowledge during the construction of proof need to be guided by general problem-solving and reasoning skills.

KEY WORDS

domain-specific and general knowledge geometry proof development mathematical schemas mathematics cognition and instruction mathematics teacher education 

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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohan Chinnappan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Madduma B. Ekanayake
    • 1
  • Christine Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Mathematics, Cognition and Design of Instruction, Faculty of EducationThe University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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