Presentation of TSG 18: Reasoning, proof and proving in mathematics education

Aims and focus
The ICME 11 Topic Study Group on « Reasoning, proof and proving in mathematics education » will serve a dual role:

The topic will be considered at all levels – elementary, secondary, university, and teacher knowledge.  Participants could report on research work, on classroom teaching, or on the design of teaching environments or of teaching units for RPP. They also could report on advances made in the development of theoretical frameworks or approaches.
The work of this TSG will focus on four broad themes.

1) Epistemological / historical aspect
* What is the role of RPP in the history of mathematics?
* What is the role of RPP in the developmental processes of mathematics as a discipline?
* What is the status of RPP in mathematics as an academic subject?
* What is the role of experimentation?
* To what extent should mathematical proofs in the empirical sciences, such as physics, figure as a theme in mathematics teaching so as to provide an adequate and authentic picture of the role of mathematics in the world?

2) Curriculum and textbook aspect
* A description of the status of RPP at school, at different grade levels, and in various countries
* International comparison of the above status of RPP among countries
* Discussion of the mathematical contexts and developmental progression of RPP in curriculum and textbooks

3) Cognitive aspect
* Students’ and teachers’ views or concepts of RPP
* Students’ main difficulties in learning RPP
* Describing and interpreting students’ behaviors in RPP tasks

4) Teaching aspect
* Approaches to the teaching of RPP, at different grade levels, and in various mathematical subject areas
* What do teachers need to know for the teaching of RPP?
* Design of appropriate teaching interventions to overcome students’ difficulties in coping with RPP tasks
* Instructional approaches to RPP that have shown     some success
* What is the role of dynamic software in the teaching of proof?

Call for contributions
TSG 18 « Reasoning, proof and proving in mathematics education » invites the submission of contributions related to the topic of the group, as described by the questions, problems and issues listed above. The organizers of the Topic Study Group welcome proposals from both researchers and practitioners and encourage contributions from all countries, representing all economic contexts and cultural backgrounds. Reflecting this diversity is a major goal of the TSG 18 organizers.

The submitted contributions will be reviewed by the TSG 18 organizing team. The accepted contributions will be published on the TSG18 website ( /show/19) prior to the congress and presented in poster format during the congress sessions of the group. In the poster presentation it is expected that the contributors will be available to discuss and share their work with the other group members.  In addition, authors of some papers, to be selected by the organizing team of the TSG, will be invited to have a paper presentation to the whole group, as a focus for collective discussions. All contributors will be invited to bring copies of accepted papers, including expanded versions and CDs, to be presented-by-distribution during the TSG sessions.  

If the circumstances make it practical and desirable, the organizing team will publish a conference book as on the work of TSG 18. Should this happen, the editors, editorial process, and content will be the subject of discussion among the TSG 18 organizing team.

Submission specifications
The first version of a submissions can be a short proposal of 3 pages, clearly indicating the aims and the nature of the work, and giving a synopsis of its content and results. Authors of accepted submissions are then invited to send a longer version (8-10 pages) for publication on the Web site of the congress.  This published version should present the aims and the nature of the work, the underlying theoretical frameworks or assumptions, the ways it was carried out or the methods that were used, and provide the results and/or questions that arise from the work.

Sending submissions
Initial submissions (3pages) should be sent by December 15, 2007, as an email attachment to both chairs of the Topic Study Group at the following addresses:

Information about acceptance of the initial submissions, with recommendations for the final version(8-10 pages), will be available by the end of January.
Final versions of accepted submissions should be sent by March 31, 2008.

Guidelines for publication
Guidelines for formatting the final paper as well as a template will be found on the WebSite of TGS18.