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How mathematicians obtain conviction: implications for mathematics instruction and research on epistemic cognition

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journal contribution
posted on 23.01.2014, 16:45 by Keith Weber, Matthew InglisMatthew Inglis, Juan P. Mejia-Ramos
The received view of mathematical practice is that mathematicians gain certainty in mathematical assertions by deductive evidence rather than empirical or authoritarian evidence. This assumption has influenced mathematics instruction where students are expected to justify assertions with deductive arguments rather than by checking the assertion with specific examples or appealing to authorities. In this paper, we argue that the received view about mathematical practice is too simplistic; some mathematicians sometimes gain high levels of conviction with empirical or authoritarian evidence and sometimes do not gain full conviction from the proofs that they read. We discuss what implications this might have, both for for mathematics instruction and theories of epistemic cognition.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Citation

WEBER, K., INGLIS, M. and MEJIA-RAMOS, J.P., 2014. How mathematicians obtain conviction: implications for mathematics instruction and research on epistemic cognition. Educational Psychologist, 49 (1), pp.36-58

Publisher

© Routledge (Taylor & Francis)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2014

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational Psychologist on 16th January 2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00461520.2013.865527

ISSN

0046-1520

eISSN

1532-6985

Language

en

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