Research-based guidance and classroom activities for teachers of mathematics

Measurement and proof

Measurement and proof is a theme within connecting measurement and decimals. Links to relevant activities and resources are on the right hand side of this page. 

There can be a somewhat uneasy relationship between measurement and proving that can be exacerbated when measurement is seen as entirely empirical, in contrast to mathematical proof which is invariably taken as solely deductive.

Nevertheless, there are ways in which it might be possible to have a more mutually supportive relationship between measurement and proving. For example, the use of measurements in geometry teaching does not necessarily hinder students’ appreciation of mathematical proof if the teacher can use measurement to show the difference between empirical and deductive reasoning.

There is also evidence from research that measurement in dynamic geometry software (DGS) can be used in a way that supports the teaching of conjecturing and proving.