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09 Mar 2017

Moore method - Wikipedia (Teaching method based on finding proofs by oneself)

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  • Rating: 6; Complexity: 5
    Title: Moore method - Wikipedia (Teaching method based on finding proofs by oneself)

    the content of the course is usually presented in whole or in part by the students themselves. Instead of using a textbook, the students are given a list of definitions and theorems which they are to prove and present in class, leading them through the subject material If a student had already studied topology elsewhere or had read too much, he would exclude him. He would usually caution the group not to read topology but simply to use their own ability. Plainly he wanted the competition to be as fair as possible, for competition was one of the driving forces. […] After stating the axioms and giving motivating examples to illustrate their meaning he would then state some definitions and theorems. He simply read them from his book as the students copied them down. He would then instruct the class to find proofs of their own and also to construct examples to show that the hypotheses of the theorems could not be weakened, omitted, or partially omitted. When the class returned for the next meeting he would call on some student to prove Theorem 1. After he became familiar with the abilities of the class members, he would call on them in reverse order and in this way give the more unsuccessful students first chance when they did get a proof. When a student stated that he could prove Theorem x, he was asked to go to the blackboard and present his proof. Then the other students, especially those who had not been able to discover a proof, would make sure that the proof presented was correct and convincing. When a flaw appeared in a ‘proof’ everyone would patiently wait for the student at the board to ‘patch it up.’ If he could not, he would sit down. Moore would then ask the next student to try The students were forbidden to read any book or article about the subject. They were even forbidden to talk about it outside of class. Hersh and John-Steiner claim that, “this method is reminiscent of a well-known, old method of teaching swimming called ‘sink or swim’ “.