Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Mathematical Thinking and Learning (2014) 16: 51–79.

doi 10.1080/10986065.2014.857802


Copyright © 2014, Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


International calls have been made for reasoning-and-proving to permeate school mathematics. It is important that efforts to heed this call are grounded in an understanding of the opportunities to reason- and-prove that already exist, especially in secondary-level geometry where reasoning-and-proving opportunities are prevalent but not thoroughly studied. This analysis of six secondary-level geometry textbooks, like studies of other textbooks, characterizes the justifications given in the exposition and the reasoning-and-proving activities expected of students in the exercises. Furthermore, this study considers whether the mathematical statements included in the reasoning-and-proving opportunities are general or particular in nature. Findings include the fact that the majority of expository mathematical statements were general, whereas reasoning-and-proving exercises tended to involve particular mathematical statements. Although reasoning-and-proving opportunities were relatively numerous, it remained rare for the reasoning-and-proving process itself to be an explicit object of reflection. Relationships between these findings and the necessity principle of pedagogy are discussed.