To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
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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