Through a Problem-Solving Approach to Mathematics
by Margaret Taplin
Institute of Sathya Sai Education, Hong Kong
|Some Questions For Discussion
With Colleagues, or Action Research In Your Classroom
|In this article, it has been shown how
mathematical problem solving can contribute to the following values:
- common sense
- appreciation of social issues
|Use a problem-solving approach to teach a
standard mathematics topic, and observe the extent to which the students show signs of
these values. Discuss your findings with your students.
|Monitor the range of emotions which students
experience during a problem-solving experience. How can these contribute to the
development of the student's character? Discuss this with your students.
|Present a standard topic in a
"real-life" context, as in the example above. Compare the level of the students'
interest and involvement, compared to when the same topic is presented in a more
|Over time (e.g. a whole school year), observe
changes in the pupils' ability to be able to transfer knowledge to unfamiliar situations.
|"Real Problem Solving" enables pupils
to practise their mathematics skills or learn new ones, by using mathematics as a tool to
address a problem. Have your pupils identify and explore a solution to a problem. Identify
the mathematical skills which are used, and the values which are encouraged. Discuss with
your pupils how their project has been useful in helping others.