Q&A #315

Value of two-column proofs

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From: Claudia (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Mar 17, 1998 at 17:18:27
Subject: Re: Value of two-column proofs

The formal two-column proofs have been deemphasized by recommendation of the 
NCTM Standards. But when you mention allowing coverage of more topics, I 
might caution you. Recent TIMMS study results show that math classrooms 
should emphasize quality rather than quantity. 

Two-column proofs have their importance in the teaching of ORGANIZED logical 
reasoning. You can get similar, more natural results, by having students 
create arguments where proof is necessary to support statements they have 
made. I have found this approach more meaningful. 

Be sure topics are investigated well, not that you have "touched" upon more 
because you shortened your treatment of the two-column proof.

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