for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Uri Leron ,  Orit Zaslavsky - Vol. 33 Num. 3 (2013)
 Generic proving: reflections on scope and method


We analyze the role of generic proofs in helping students access difficult proofs more easily and naturally. We present three examples of generic proving - an elementary one on numbers, a more advanced one on permutations, and yet more advanced one on groups - and consider the affordances and pitfalls of the method by reflecting on these examples. A virtual classroom scenario is used to bring out the role of the teacher and of classroom interaction in generic proving. Finally, we speculate on the question: Which proofs are more or less amenable to generic proving?