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ERIC Number: ED538822
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct-8
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Problem Solving. Research Brief
Muir, Mike
Education Partnerships, Inc.
No longer solely the domain of Mathematics, problem solving permeates every area of today's curricula. Ideally students are applying heuristics strategies in varied contexts and novel situations in every subject taught. The ability to solve problems is a basic life skill and is essential to understanding technical subjects. Problem-solving is a subset of critical thinking and employs the same strategies. Although the line between the two is fuzzy, in general, the goal of problem-solving is to adduce correct solutions to well-structured problems, whereas the goal of critical thinking is to construct and defend reasonable solutions to ill-structured problems. Basically, problem-solving is the process of reasoning to solutions using more than simple application of previously learned procedures. Much of the writing now is not so much about teaching problem solving skills as it is about how problem solving can become the rich context for learning material. For example, as the emphasis has shifted in Math education from teaching problem solving to teaching "via" problem solving, many writers have attempted to clarify what is meant by a problem-solving approach to teaching mathematics. The focus is on teaching mathematical topics through problem-solving contexts and enquiry-oriented environments which are characterized by the teacher helping students construct a deep understanding of mathematical ideas and processes by engaging them in doing mathematics: creating, conjecturing, exploring, testing, and verifying. (Contains 14 online resources and 6 ERIC resources.)
Education Partnerships, Inc. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Partnerships, Inc. (EPI)