What Details Do Teachers Expect From Student Proofs? A Study of Proof Checking in Geometry

Justin K. Dimmel University of Maine

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Patricio G. Herbst University of Michigan

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We investigated how secondary mathematics teachers check student geometry proofs. From video records of geometry teachers checking proofs, we conjectured that teachers have different expectations for details that follow from written statements than for details that are conveyed by diagrams. To test our conjectures, we randomly assigned 44 secondary mathematics teachers to 1 of 3 experiment groups (n & 13, n & 15, n & 16) in which they viewed and rated representations of instructional practice. Participants in each group viewed treatment or control versions of instructional scenarios and rated the appropriateness of the teachers' work in different segments of each scenario. We compared participants' ratings across and within experiment groups. We found that participants rated lower instruction that deviated from what we hypothesized to be their expectations, confirming our hypotheses.

Contributor Notes

Justin K. Dimmel, College of Education and Human Development, University of Maine, 330 Shibles Hall, Orono, ME 04469; justin.dimmel@maine.edu

Patricio G. Herbst, School of Education and Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan, 610 E. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104; pgherbst@umich.edu

(Corresponding author is Dimmel justin.dimmel@maine.edu)
(Corresponding author is Herbst pgherbst@umich.edu)
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