Department of Mathematics
University of Wisconsin
THE ROLE OF DEFINITIONS IN GEOMETRY FOR PROSPECTIVE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS
Does verbalizing a key definition before solving a related problem help students solving the problem? Perhaps surprisingly, the answers turns out to be NO, based on this yearlong experiment conducted with mathematics education majors and minors in two geometry classes.This article describes the experiment, the results, suggests possible explanations, and derives some
peda-gogical conclusions that are useful for teachers of any mathematics or science course.
Keywords: concept definition, concept image, proof writing, problem solving, secondary