An Inherent Tension: Students Engaging with Proof in Intermediate Algebra

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Intermediate algebra instructors are expected to address gaps in students’ content knowledge and ensure that students acquire the prerequisite skills needed for college algebra and other tertiarylevel mathematics courses, which may create an inherent tension between “covering” thecurriculum and allocating time for students to prove. Attending to proof in intermediate algebra can strengthen students’ understanding of mathematics, and enhance their abilities to develop mathematical arguments. Therefore, this article provides practical strategies for instructors to increase opportunities for students to engage with proof in intermediate algebra, namely: articulate objectives pertaining to reasoning and proof in the course syllabus, modify tasks, orchestrate mathematical discourse within the classroom setting, integrate technology, and include proof tasks on assessments.

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MathAMATYC Educator, v. 8, issue 1, p. 36-42