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The Development of the Idea of Mathematical Proof: A 5-Year Case Study

Carolyn A. Maher and Amy M. Martino
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Mar., 1996), pp. 194-214
DOI: 10.2307/749600
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/749600
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Development of the Idea of Mathematical Proof: A 5-Year Case Study
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Abstract

This longitudinal case study presents a sequence of episodes that document the mathematical thinking of one child, Stephanie, over a 5-year period. Her development of the idea of mathematical justification spans grades 1-5. Stephanie worked on several combinatorics tasks in small-group, whole-class, and individual interview settings. The documented events indicate Stephanie's progress in classifying, organizing, and reorganizing data. The study provides some significant insight into the process by which Stephanie learned to make proofs, within a setting that encouraged the development of her ideas.

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