How To Teach Problem Solving Skills
Many teachers personalise word problems to include characters that the children in the class know.
This also makes them more interesting and relevant to the children.
Because the children seem to enjoy the problems, and get quite involved with them (we have seen children work through their breaks in order to settle a problem), it helps them to gain a positive attitude towards the subject.
Very little encouragement has been given to cooperation in the traditional didactic approach to teaching mathematics.The following are some reasons that are frequently suggested as to why you should include problem solving in your maths programme. Currently much credence is being given to a theory of learning called constructivism.This proposes that we construct our knowledge through our experience rather than absorbing what we are told.Most of the problems used in problem solving have more than one solution.So each of them can be approached in a variety of ways, some of which are sophisticated and some of which are less sophisticated.Sometimes though, it can take a little work on the your part before the consequences of some ideas are seen. It is important to point out at this stage, that though we are concentrating here on mathematical problem solving, many of the strategies and techniques that are used in mathematics are used in any type of problem.The four stages of problem solving due to Pólya (in What is Problem Solving?It’s also partly because we all enjoy getting the answer after having struggled with a problem.And it’s partly because children enjoy having "ownership" of the problem. By working on a problem, children become involved with it and can get quite deeply involved with the mathematics that is both required to solve it, and that may be required to solve it. In the process of struggling with a problem, children can often obtain a fairly deep understanding of the mathematics surrounding the problem.The constructivist views the child as an active learner.The more traditional approach to teaching mathematics sees the child as an empty vessel that has to be filled.