Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/2938
Title: Teaching problem solving in a Grade 5 mathematics class: A tweak and its impact on formal assessment
Authors: Ho, Kai Fai
Tan, Preston
Issue Date: Nov-2006
Citation: Paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Education Research Association Conference, Hong Kong, China, 2006
Abstract: Participating in a research project, the researcher-teacher came to realize he often ‘go over assigned work’ as a way to teach problem solving. It involved giving students problems to try, and after some lapse of time, he would go over the assigned work. On reflection, such an approach offered his students a limited experience in problem solving. Students focused more on getting the steps to solve the problem and were seemingly able to do the given problems afterwards. There was very little transfer of learning to new or unfamiliar problems. To explore better practices, the researcherteacher conceived of a way to tweak the usual approach. Gleaning from Polya (1957), viz., an Understand, Strategize, Execute and Reflect (USER) to explore a strategy to develop better problem solving skills is incorporated into the teaching of problem solving. The researchers conducted a teaching experiment. The USER approach is incorporated in one class of students over a period of the school year by the researcher-teacher. The other researcher conducted a pre- and post-test both in this class and another class for comparison purposes. Results from the pre- and post-tests show that the USER approach made some significant impact. A follow-up analysis on the year-end formal school examination showed statistically significant differences between the experimental and the contrast class. This paper reports on the results and the experiences of the researcher-teacher.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/2938
Project number: CRP 1/04 JH
Website: http://www.crpp.nie.edu.sg/course/view.php?id=218
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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