Abstract

While proof and reasoning lie at the core of mathematical practice, how students learn to reason formally and build convincing proofs continues to invite reflection and discussion. To add to this discussion I investigated how three students grew in their conceptions of mathematical induction. While each of the students in the study had different experiences and grew in different ways, the grounded axes (triggering events, personal questions about mathematics, and personal questions about a particular solution) highlighted patterns in the narratives and from these patterns a theoretical perspective emerged. Reflection, both on mathematics in general and about specific problems, was central to students' growth. The personal reflections of students and triggering events influenced each other in the following way. The questions students wondered about impacted which trigger stimulated growth, while triggers caused students to rethink assumptions and reflect on mathematics or specific problems. The reflections that allowed triggers to stimulate growth along with the reflections that were results of triggering events constitute an "investigative orientation." Each narrative reflects a different investigative orientation motivated by different personal needs. These investigative orientations affected what type of knowledge was constructed.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2010-05-06

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd3585

Keywords

Mathematical Induction, Proof, Undergraduate students

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