The fundamental theorem of calculus : a case study into the didactic transposition of proof

Abstract: The relationship between academic mathematics as practiced by researchers at universities and classroom mathematics (the mathematical practices in classrooms in primary, lower and upper secondary education as well as in undergraduate university education) is a fundamental question in mathematics education. The focus of the study presented here is on how this relationship is seen from the perspective of mathematics education and by researching mathematicians, with a focus on proof. The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus (FTC) and its proof provide an illuminating but also curious example. The propositional content of the statements, which are connected to this name, varies. Consequently, also the proofs differ. The formulations of different versions of "the" FTC cannot be understood in isolation from its historical and institutional context. The study comprises a historical account of the invention of the FTC and its proof, including its appearance in calculus textbooks. Interviews with researching mathematicians from different sub-fields provide a picture of what meaning and relevance they attribute to the FTC. The outcomes of the historical account and the data about the mathematicians' views are discussed from the perspective of the theory of didactic transposition.