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Prospective Elementary Mathematics Teachers’ Conceptions Regarding Mathematical Proof
The aim of this research is to find out prospective mathematics teachers’ conceptions regarding mathematical proof. To this aim, the researchers developed a 5-point Likert Conception Scale for Mathematical Proof (CSFMP) composed of 31 items. The scale was administered to a total of 480 prospective teachers who were studying at the department of elementary mathematics teaching in a state university located in the Eastern Anatolia Region. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted in order to determine the structural validity of the scale. In view of the factor analysis, it was observed that the scale was composed of five factors. In view of the conducted reliability analysis, the reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s Alpha) of the scale was found to be .93. The reliability coefficients of the five factors, which were obtained from the scale, range from .70 to .90. These factors explain 54.2% of the scale’s total variance. At the end of the study, it was found that the prospective teachers were generally indecisive in their conceptions regarding proof. Furthermore, it was determined that the prospective teachers’ level of self-confidence on performing proof and understanding proofs was low, although the meaning that they attributed to proof was positive. When the prospective teachers’ conceptions regarding proof were examined in terms of class levels, it was found that the third-year prospective teachers’ conceptions were more negative compared to those of first and second year prospective teachers.

Mathematical proof, conception regarding proof, prospective mathematics teacher.

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