n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - Error detection as mathematical catalyst

Volume 2011, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


This paper stems from the detection of a mathematically unsound question. The question appeared in a provincial senior certificate preparatory examination paper in 2010. Dr Sudan Hansraj detected an error in the proposed solutions of the question, and this served as a catalyst for an interesting email discussion amongst a number of mathematics educators. This paper presents (1) the initial question, (2) the proposed solutions that were provided on the marking memorandum, both of which contained a serious flaw, and (3) a distillation of the email discussion including detections of counterexamples and existence conditionsfor such a problem to be true.

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