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Let’s say students must find the sum of 393 and 89.They should quickly see that adding 7 onto 393 will equal 400 — an easier number to work with.
In fact one of the main difficulties in learning problem solving is the fact that many skills are needed for a learner to be an effective problem solver.
Also, these factors and skills make the teaching of problem solving one of the most complex topic to teach.
My purpose here is to present some of these issues in order to stimulate discussions.
Suggestions on how to facilitate certain aspects of mathematical problem solving, as I apply them in my classes, are also presented.
Solving an advanced math problem independently requires the coordination of a number of complex skills.
The student must have the capacity to reliably implement the specific steps of a particular problem-solving process, or cognitive strategy.Mathematical problem solving is a process that involves a set of factors and tasks to achieve a defined goal.It depends on many skills and factors which therefore makes it challenging both to learn and to teach.Mathematical problem solving is one of the most important topics to learn and also one of the most complex to teach.The main goal in teaching mathematical problem solving is that students develop a generic ability to solve real life problems and apply mathematics in real life situations. Instead of relying on calculators, students learn strategies that can improve their concentration and estimation skills while building number sense.And, while there are educators who oppose math “tricks” for valid reasons, proponents point to benefits such as increased confidence to handle difficult problems.At least as important, though, is that the student must also possess the necessary metacognitive skills to analyze the problem, select an appropriate strategy to solve that problem from an array of possible alternatives, and monitor the problem-solving process to ensure that it is carried out correctly.The following strategies combine both cognitive and metacognitive elements (Montague, 1992; Montague & Dietz, 2009).Our students, at the UAE University, have difficulties in mathematical problem solving and we need to be aware of it.I believe that we need to address this issue and discuss it if we want to improve the teaching of quantitative problem solving which will greatly improve our students thinking skills and problem solving abilities in general.