Prospective teachers’ understanding of the constant π and their knowledge of how to prove its constant nature through the concept of linearity

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Abstract

When taught the precise definition of π, students may be simply asked to memorize its approximate value without developing a rigorous understanding of the underlying reason of why it is a constant. Measuring the circumferences and diameters of various circles and calculating their ratios might just represent an attempt to verify that π has an approximate value of 3.14, and will not necessarily result in an adequate understanding about the constant nor formally proves that it is a constant. In this study, we aim to investigate prospective teachers' conceptual understanding of π, and as a constant and whether they can provide a proof of its constant property. The findings show that prospective teachers lack a holistic understanding of the constant nature of π, and reveal how they teach students about this property in an inappropriate approach through a proving activity. We conclude our findings with a suggestion on how to improve the situation. Copyright © 2014 MIT Departmental Seminar.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

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Citation

Leung, K. C. I. (2014, May). Prospective teachers’ understanding of the constant π and their knowledge of how to prove its constant nature through the concept of linearity. Paper presented at the MIT Departmental Seminar, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.