Curriculum, Reasoning and Proof, Secondary School Mathematics, Students Conceptions
Hunte, Andrew Anthony
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This study examines students’ conceptions of the role of proof in Trinidad and Tobago. I conduct semi-structured interviews with 21 secondary school students, ages 13–16 years old, to investigate their opinions of (a) the purposes of proof in mathematics and (b) the type opportunities for proving in geometry in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. My analysis suggests that students identified the roles of verification, explanation, systemization, and appreciation within the work of mathematicians or school mathematics. The latter role suggests students’ understanding of the intellectual need of proof in their mathematical learning. All 21 students considered the calculations with explanations questions in the CSEC examinations as informal opportunities to construct proofs. The development of these non-proof arguments has the potential to go beyond the borders of this reasoning and proof activity to evolve into proof construction. These findings can provide researchers with possible evidence of students’ learning with regard to the recent reform-oriented mathematics curriculum in Trinidad and Tobago