Article Summary

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

2006, Vol. 15, No. 2, 17-24

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.


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