Problem Solving Ability In Mathematics

Problem Solving Ability In Mathematics-75
Such motivation gives problem solving special value as a vehicle for learning new concepts and skills or the reinforcement of skills already acquired (Stanic and Kilpatrick, 1989, NCTM, 1989).

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According to Resnick (1987) a problem-solving approach contributes to the practical use of mathematics by helping people to develop the facility to be adaptable when, for instance, technology breaks down. (Eds.) Professional Development for Teachers of Mathematics , pp. An Agenda for Action: Recommendations for School Mathematics of the 1980s, Reston, Virginia: NCTM.

It can thus also help people to transfer into new work environments at this time when most are likely to be faced with several career changes during a working lifetime (NCTM, 1989). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) (1989).

As was pointed out earlier, standard mathematics, with the emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge, does not necessarily cater for these needs.

Resnick (1987) described the discrepancies which exist between the algorithmic approaches taught in schools and the 'invented' strategies which most people use in the workforce in order to solve practical problems which do not always fit neatly into a taught algorithm.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 1980) recommended that problem solving be the focus of mathematics teaching because, they say, it encompasses skills and functions which are an important part of everyday life.

Furthermore it can help people to adapt to changes and unexpected problems in their careers and other aspects of their lives.

Let us consider how problem solving is a useful medium for each of these.

It has already been pointed out that mathematics is an essential discipline because of its practical role to the individual and society.

In the past decade it has been suggested that problem-solving techniques can be made available most effectively through making problem solving the focus of the mathematics curriculum.

Although mathematical problems have traditionally been a part of the mathematics curriculum, it has been only comparatively recently that problem solving has come to be regarded as an important medium for teaching and learning mathematics (Stanic and Kilpatrick, 1989).


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