Document Type : Original Research Paper

**Authors**

Department of mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University , Tehran, Iran

**Abstract**

**Background and Objectives:** Understanding mathematical concepts is impossible without emphasizing reasoning and takes on instrumental and procedural aspects, and can be more easily recreated if mathematics is learned as a reasoned science instead of a set of procedures. On the other hand, the goal of any educational system is to prepare students for social life; So that they can perform their daily duties well as a citizen. In this regard, they must be able to convince themselves and others with the reasoning they present. However, students face widespread difficulties in understanding reasoning and proof in mathematics as well as in assessing their correctness. Therefore, it is important for students to evaluate the correctness and validity of mathematical reasoning and to use these reasoning to convince themselves and others and deserves further attention and research. The purpose of this research was to study the ability of 11^{th} grade students to evaluate mathematical reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of students.. **Methods:**The present study was conducted by survey method.The statistical population consisted of the 11^{th} grade students in Zanjan and the sample includes 393 boy and girl students selected by random cluster sampling from the gifted, exemplary public, Shahed and public schools and the sample was selected to include all levels of students.. The research instrument is a researcher-made test consisting of 3 problems in familiar, completely familiar and unfamiliar situations. Students were provided with some responses for each of these three situations to determine which responses can be selected to convince themselves, which ones can be chosen to convince friends, and finally which ones can be selected to get the best score. Descriptive and inferential statistics (Chi-square test) were used for data analysis. **Findings:** The findings indicated that students were not capable of evaluating mathematical reasoning and in more than 60% of cases they were particularly interested in using formal methods. Selecting the responses to persuade themselves and friends in more unfamiliar situations indicated that students paid less attentionto to accepted criteria for accepting a logical reasoning. Students' performance to get the best score from the teacher indicated that their attention to correct and incorrectsymbolic responses has increased, the form of presentation seems to be more important to them,. Although they are not able to distinguish formal proof content from the false one, they have ea better understanding for distinguishing invalid reasoning in the familiar situations. The results showed that in some cases gender influenced students' performance. **Conclusion:** It can be said that the current teaching method in mathematics has not had significant results in the area of reasoning and proof. Therefore, it is necessary to review the teaching methods and the content of the textbooks. The results of this research can be used by education policy makers and textbook authors to pay special attention to the situation of reasoning in mathematics textbooks by being aware of students' views on mathematical reasoning, and perhaps by changing the way textbooks are written, a fundamental step to solve difficulties. Also, by being aware of students' performance in the field of reasoning and proof, math teachers can identify the strengths and weaknesses of their students in the process of math proofs and identify their misconceptions in this field.

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**COPYRIGHTS**

©2020 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers.

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