The problem with problem solvingPresentation Transcript
The Problem with Problem Solving Beverly Bowles MAED 5040 June 28, 2010
Why Word Problems and Problem Solving? Teachers do not like teaching them. Students do not like working with them. EOG is multiple choice. Student complaints of “Why do we need to know this?”
Teacher’s Point of View Do not possess tools to evaluate work Have low confidence in ability Bad past experiences We learned traditional technique of memorization and procedural skills. The possibility of more than one answer is scary!
Student’s Point of View Surprise!! Lack of understanding Lack of motivation Cannot recall information unless it is straightforward or teacher is assisting
What Can Teachers Do? Do not rely on the textbook Regularly incorporate non-routine problem solving tasks into classroom regimen Classroom discussion Allow students to take ownership of problem and classroom environment in regards to problem solving Ownership leads to positive attitude
Helping Students Think NCTM states problem solving is major goal of math education Teachers struggle with implementation Students need to develop ability to work on their own Incorporate more discussion and reflection Students and teachers gain more insight
Why Learn This? Help prepare students for problems faced in everyday life Incorporates real life problems Promotes critical thinking and problem solving skills Students do not have to be “stuck” with one strategy Students can become better at choosing alternatives when one strategy does not work
Conclusion Math should be learning activity Teachers and students work along side each other Students have to use skills attained to solve problems Teachers need to explain rather than instruct Shift focus from teachers to students Everyone wins!!