Despite the recognized importance of mathematical proof in secondary education, there is a limited but growing body of literature indicating how preservice secondary mathematics teachers (PSMTs) view proof and the teaching of proof. The purpose of this survey research was to explore PSMTs’ knowledge and beliefs about proof and proof teaching in the context of secondary mathematics teaching and learning. Six cases (PSMTs’ survey responses) were purposively selected from an entire data set comprising participants from the United States and Australia. Using a situative learning perspective as the theoretical framework, the authors developed a sensible belief system (Leatham, 2006) for sampled PSMTs and inductively conceptualized how their knowledge of and orientations toward proof acted as a function of their teaching and learning contexts. Furthermore, an analysis of data revealed that PSMTs’ knowledge and beliefs about proof are multifaceted, dynamic and evolving as they engage with proof in their various contexts.


Mathematical content knowledge, Proof, Proof education, Secondary mathematics education, Situative beliefs

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