Problems Solving The Problem Solving Essay

Problems Solving The Problem Solving Essay

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Background
People of all backgrounds face problems they need to solve on a day-to-day basis. These problems vary from elementary school homework problems to problems in the work place. The concept of problem solving varies depending on the amount of steps necessary to solve the problem, the strategies to solve the problem, and the context in which the problem takes place. With that being said, problem solving is a complex phenomenon that occurs in all fields of study. Problem solving ability and performance are major factors that influence students’ success in mathematics (NCTM, 2000; Schoenfeld, 2007), especially during middle school, a critical time for math learning given the status of Algebra as a gatekeeper course (Adelman, 2006). Problem solving tends to be a very complex mathematical task, which involves the application of content knowledge, appropriate problem solving strategies, and non-cognitive variables such as beliefs and affective factors (Frensche & Funke, 1995, Schoenfeld, 1992).
In the field of mathematics education, problem solving is defined as the “mathematical tasks that have the potential to provide intellectual challenges for enhancing students ' mathematical understanding and development” (NCTM, 2010). A vast amount of literature exists on the teaching and learning of problem solving in mathematics education throughout the last four decades (Schoenfeld, 2007). During the 1970’s, there was a strong research emphasis to identify characteristics of successful problem solvers by conducting various teaching experiments. It was after this time, in the late 1980’s, that the importance and influence of metacognition in problem solving had been established, especially self-regulation and monitoring. Sinc...


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...school students’ open-ended problem solving ability when given the opportunity to work on a problem at length. The various factors in this study draw on the Mathematical Problem Solving Framework of Schoenfeld (1992), which include: (a) Resources (content knowledge), (b) Heuristic (problem solving strategies), (c) Control (self-regulation), and (d) Belief and Affective Factors (motivation and mathematical anxiety). A more detailed description of the theoretical framework can be found in Chapter 2.
Proposed Research Question
The research question to be explored in the proposed study is: What resource (procedural and conceptual content knowledge), heuristic (appropriate problem solving strategies), control (self-regulation), and belief/affect factors individually and collectively relate to open-ended mathematical problem solving competency of middle school students?

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- People of all backgrounds face problems they need to solve on a day-to-day basis. These problems vary from elementary school homework problems to problems in the work place. On that premise, the concept of problem solving varies depending on the amount of steps necessary to solve the problem, the strategies to solve the problem, and the context in which the problem takes place. Due to the wide range of problems people face and the variety of problem solving environments, problem solving is a complex phenomenon that occurs in all fields of study....   [tags: Problem solving, Mathematics]

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