Document Type : Original Research Paper
Authors
- E. Reyhani ^{} ^{1}
- F. Fathollahi ^{2}
- F. Kolahdouz ^{3}
^{1} Departments of Mathematics, University Shahid Rajaee, Tehran. Iran
^{2} Department of mathematics education and mathematics teacher Oshnavieh,Azarbaijan. Iran
^{3} mathematics education University of Ferdowsi Mashhad. Mashhad. Iran
Abstract
Reasoning and proof in mathematics education are important at all educational levels, from school to university. Understanding mathematics without emphasis on reasoning and proving is almost impossible. The purpose of this study was to investigate the university students’ conception of mathematical proof. For this, a survey method was used. The participants of this study were 170 students collected from four universities; Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training, Shahid Beheshti, Science and Technology and Amirkabir University of Technology as available samples. The data collecting Instrument was a questionnaire based on the modified version of Roy and et.al (2010). In this questionnaire a theorem with its proving was presented and then the students were asked to answer the questions about the process of making the mathematical proof. A model was used to evaluate the students’ answers to questions based on Ramos and et.al (2011). It is consists of both global and local aspects. This model investigates seven different levels of understanding of the process of making mathematical proof. The findings of the study showed that most of the students had a local comprehension of the proof. In fact, they understood the relations between the concepts and statements in the proof. But a small percentage of them had a more holistic comprehension of the proof. It seems several factors, including the lack of attention to the assumptions of the theorem, their inability to provide logical reasoning and rational organization of statements of the proof, and most importantly, the lack of students’ knowledge may be insufficient in this inability.
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