The role of mathematical context in evaluating conditional statements

2011-07-07T08:34:58Z (GMT) by Matthew Inglis Adrian Simpson
Recently there has been increasing interest in the mathematics education research community about the role of logic in the teaching, learning and production of mathematics. In this paper we investigate how conditional statements are evaluated by successful mathematics students, and argue that the role of context is vital to determine the manner in which this evaluation proceeds. We use two versions of the so-called Labyrinth Task, one in it’s original context and one in an overtly mathematical context. We report results that indicates that the manner in which conditional statements are evaluated on these tasks differs depending on the context. These results are supplemented by data from a qualitative task-based interview study.