Informal Content and Student Note-Taking in Advanced Mathematics Classes

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  • 1 Temple University
  • 2 Rutgers University

This study investigates 3 hypotheses about proof-based mathematics instruction: (a) that lectures include informal content (ways of thinking and reasoning about advanced mathematics that are not captured by formal symbolic statements), (b) that informal content is usually presented orally but not written on the board, and (c) that students do not record the informal content that is only stated orally but do if it is written on the board. The authors found that (a) informal content was common (with, on average, 32 instances per lecture), (b) most informal content was presented orally, and (c) typically students recorded written content while not recording oral content in their notes.

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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