Mathematically Based and Practically Based Explanations in the Elementary School: Teachers’ Preferences

Aug. 15, 2010

Source: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Volume 13, Number 4, 345-369. (August, 2010).

This paper focuses on elementary school teachers’ preferences for mathematically based (MB) and practically based (PB) explanations.

Using the context of even and odd numbers, the article examines the types of explanations teachers generate on their own as well as the types of explanations they prefer after reviewing various explanations.
The article also explores the basis for these preferences.

Results reveal that teacher-generated explanations include more MB explanations than PB explanations.
However, many still choose to use mostly PB explanations in their classrooms, believing that these explanations will be most convincing to their students.

Updated: May. 26, 2011