Problem Solving Approach To Mathematics

This exploratory phase will also help them to understand the problem better and may make them aware of some piece of information that they had neglected after the first reading.

Having explored the problem and decided on a plan of attack, the third problem-solving step, solve the problem, can be taken.

Naturally enough, Problem Solving is about solving problems.

And we’ll restrict ourselves to thinking about mathematical problems here even though Problem Solving in school has a wider goal.

Hopefully now the problem will be solved and an answer obtained.

During this phase it is important for the children to keep a track of what they are doing.These include the basic arithmetical processes and the algorithms that go with them.They include algebra in all its levels as well as sophisticated areas such as the calculus.Third, in looking back and thinking a little more about the problem, children are often able to see another way of solving the problem.This new solution may be a nicer solution than the original and may give more insight into what is really going on.Pólya’s second stage of finding a strategy tends to suggest that it is a fairly simple matter to think of an appropriate strategy.However, there are certainly problems where children may find it necessary to play around with the information before they are able to think of a strategy that might produce a solution.This is useful to show others what they have done and it is also helpful in finding errors should the right answer not be found.At this point many children, especially mathematically able ones, will stop.This is the side of mathematics that enables us to use the skills in a wide variety of situations.Before we get too far into the discussion of Problem Solving, it is worth pointing out that we find it useful to distinguish between the three words "method", "answer" and "solution".


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