This article by Gila Hanna and Ed Barbeau was published online two days ago in ZDM. The article examines a main idea from an article by Yehuda Rav in Philosophia Mathematica, that it is “proofs rather than theorems that are the bearers of mathematical knowledge”. An interesting theme of an article, with strong implications. Here is the entire abstract:
Yehuda Rav’s inspiring paper “Why do we prove theorems?” published in Philosophia Mathematica (1999, 7, pp. 5–41) has interesting implications for mathematics education. We examine Rav’s central ideas on proof—that proofs convey important elements of mathematics such as strategies and methods, that it is “proofs rather than theorems that are the bearers of mathematical knowledge”and thus that proofs should be the primary focus of mathematical interest—and then discuss their significance for mathematics education in general and for the teaching of proof in particular.