Preservice teachers learning to teach proof through classroom implementation: Successes and challenges

Academic Article


  • Proof and reasoning are central to learning mathematics with understanding. Yet proof is seen as challenging to teach and to learn. In a capstone course for preservice teachers, we developed instructional modules that guided prospective secondary mathematics teachers (PSTs) through a cycle of learning about the logical aspects of proof, then planning and implementing lessons in secondary classrooms that integrate these aspects with traditional mathematics curriculum in the United States. In this paper we highlight our framework on mathematical knowledge for teaching proof and focus on some of the logical aspects of proof that are seen as particularly challenging (four proof themes). We analyze 60 lesson plans, video recordings of a subset of 15 enacted lessons, and the PSTs’ self- reported data to shed light on how the PSTs planned and enacted lessons that integrate these proof themes. The results provide insights into successes and challenges the PSTs encountered in this process and illustrate potential pathways for preparing PSTs to enact reasoning and proof in secondary classrooms. We finish by highlighting the design principles for supporting the development of PSTs’ mathematical knowledge for teaching proof
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 2020
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Mathematical knowledge for teaching
  • Practice-based teacher education
  • Preservice secondary teachers
  • Reasoning and proof
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 100779
  • End Page

  • 100779
  • Volume

  • 58