How Can Geometry Students Understand What It Means to Define in Mathematics?

Patricio G. Herbst, Gloriana González, Michele Macke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article discusses how a teacher can prepare the terrain for students to understand what it means to define a figure. Drawing on writings from mathematicians and mathematics educators on the role of definitions in mathematics, the authors argue that students develop a greater appreciation for the conciseness of a mathematical definition if they are involved in activities of generating figures that meet stipulated properties. The authors illustrate that argument with episodes from students’ play of a game called Guess My Quadrilateral! in two high school geometry classes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Mathematics Educator
Volume15
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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