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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Value of two-column proofs

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From: C.J. <quantoid@aol.com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2002031621:21:51
Subject: Re: Value of two-column proofs

I was dismayed to discover (during that last textbook adoption
process) that standards and therefore publishers had de-emphasized
two-column proofs. So, I decided to conduct a study on the impact of
this move. For each of the past four years I have chosen one class
--at random--in which I continue to emphasize two-column proofs; in
the others, I follow the new trend. At the end of the course I
administer a "standardized" final exam (multiple choice, no proofs)
and without exception, the students who have been exposed to a heavy
dose of the logic and reasoning skills that formal proofs provide,
have outperformed the other students. 

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