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Topic: Problem Solving
Replies: 6   Last Post: Jan 22, 1999 10:06 PM

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Ivey Rice

Posts: 2
Registered: 12/8/04
Problem Solving
Posted: Dec 7, 1998 1:31 PM
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I am a college instructor with a Master of Arts in Mathematics who is
currently working on a Specialist in Math Education. I am concerned
with improving my skills as a math teacher. My students often tell me
that I am the best math teacher they ever had and I made math easy for
them to understand, but my main concern is for those students who just
"don't get it." I feel it has a lot to do with their problem solving
skills and their ability to reason mathematically. I get a number of
students who have a poor Algebra background, but those who posses the
appropriate problem solving skills can quickly catch up and move on.
Those who don't are usually "lost in the shuffle."

I applaud the NCTM for their concern with integrating mathematical
reasoning and problem solving throughout the curriculum. I'm sure
that after reading the discussion draft, teachers feel they already
incorporate some problem solving within their curriculum and didn't
know it. This is where my concern comes in. There are a number of
teachers who do not really understand what problem solving is or when
it takes place. Since a lot of teachers feel that they already
incorporate problem solving in their classrooms, they will not give
this standard the attention it needs. In all, I feel that the NCTM
community should put a stronger emphasis on this standard over all
others. If they have a strong mathematical reasoning background,
students should be able to conquer all areas of mathematics with
confidence and success.

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