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 (Schoenfeld, 2007). With an ample amount of research showing the importance of problem solving aptitude on mathematics achievement (Schoenfeld, 2007), The National Council for Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) Agenda for Action, emphasized that problem so...
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...s focus on belief and affective factors such as motivation (Areepattamannil & Freeman, 2008; Gottfriend, 1990; Halawah, 2006; Lepola, Niemi, Kuikka, & Hannula, 2005) and mathematical anxiety (Kyttälä, M., & Björn, 2014; Vukovic et al., 2012) on the problem solving process.
Furthermore, the majority of studies on mathematical problem solving examine how students perform on closed problems. Closed problems are defined as problems that have only one correct answer. Closed problems also often only have one strategy or algorithm used to find the answer (Becker & Shimada, 1997). For instance, an example of a closed problem is the one-step equation x + 3 = 12. Typically students will either logically guess and check a value for x or remember the procedure to subtract three from both sides of the equation. These two strategies will yield the one unique answer of nine.
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