pp. 2373-2401 | Article Number: iejme.2016.203
Published Online: September 03, 2016
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Existing research have found that students’ creation and evaluation of mathematical proofs was inconsistent across content areas. Investigation into an explanation of the phenomena requires an analysis of students’ thinking processes when they conduct an evaluation of mathematical arguments. This study is conceptualized to contribute to this investigation. The analysis investigated the aspects and features of arguments that impacted students’ evaluation of the arguments. Eight 8th grade students participated in the interviews where they were asked to explain their rationale in evaluating arguments that justify conjectures from multiple strands of school mathematics. Interview data was coded using the Classification of Mathematical Argument (CMA) framework to identify the aspects and features of arguments that impacted students’ evaluation of the arguments. A detailed analysis of each subject’s interview response documented the complexity of each individual’s rationale and offered descriptions of the various differences among individuals. Despite such individual differences, the study also revealed a common theme among the subjects in their reasoning, i.e. the accepted statements in an argument, instead of its mode of presentation or mode of argumentation, had the largest impact on the subjects’ evaluation of an argument
Keywords: Argument evaluation, proof and reasoning, student thinking
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