Effects of traditional and problem-based instruction on conceptions of proof and pedagogy in undergraduates and prospective mathematics teachers
This study examined the effect of problem-based instruction (PBI) on undergraduate students and prospective secondary mathematics teachers’ perceptions of mathematical proof and pedagogical views. Quantitatively, the Mathematical Proof Survey (MPS) was developed and used to assess the views of mathematical proof held by undergraduates in lecture-based and PBI mathematics courses. Qualitatively, research interviews examined the way teacher candidates’ experiences as mathematics learners in the courses affected their conceptions of mathematical proof and views of learning and teaching mathematics and proof. Findings from quantitative analysis of MPS data and qualitative analysis of interview data are presented, and results from the comparative analysis are discussed for implications. The results of the study suggest that experiences with proof and instruction in such PBI courses provide opportunities for undergraduates and prospective mathematics teachers to develop more humanistic perspectives of proof and process-oriented pedagogical views than do lecture-based courses.