Helping Students Understand Proofs

March 29, 2010

Students often have difficulties understanding mathematical proofs. Recent calls for a stronger focus on proof and justification in the middle grades have led to changes in curriculum and in teaching. An emphasis on quantitative reasoning has been found to support students’ understanding of algebraic relationships. In a new NSF-funded project, Amy Ellis will merge two previously disconnected lines of research on quantitative reasoning and proof. The aim is to better support students’ developing proof skills in algebra as well as teachers’ abilities to promote these skills in the classroom.