Author |
Liu, Yueh Mei |

Title |
Primary school students' academic mathematics achievement and problem solving abilities. |

Institute |
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University |

Year |
2003 |

Supervisor |
Quigley, Martyn |

Call no. |
QA14.S55 Liu |

Summary | |

This exploratory study
investigated the relationship between the academic mathematics achievement
and problem solving abilities of primary school students. A review
of relevant literature indicated that students tend to perform
better in problems that require a more direct application of
mathematics and that success in routine problems is not matched by
success in non-routine problems. The findings of this study are
consistent with the trend.
This study focused on (a) the
relationship between students' academic mathematics achievement and
problem solving abilities, (b) the differences in problem solving
abilities among the students for each problem item, and (c) the
problem solving characteristics evident from the problem test.
This study found only a weak correlation between achievement in academic mathematics and success in solving problems. From this we can deduce that even if a student demonstrates good achievement in academic mathematics, the student may well not be very good at solving non-routine problems. Analysis of the solutions to the problems revealed that many students attempted to use the heuristics that they had been taught, but were unable to complete the solutions. This implies a gap between students' knowledge of the existence of the heuristics and their ability to carry out those heuristics in unfamiliar situations. The results also revealed some characteristics of the students, including a proficiency in using the "model" method, but a general weakness in mathematical communication. |