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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Citation

Leung, K. C. I. (2013, November). 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 2013 Joint International Conference on Mathematics Education, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

Keywords

  • Teachers' professional knowledge
  • Proofs and proving tasks
  • Mathematical constants
  • Linearity

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