Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
David R. Davies, Ph.D.
Mass Communication and Journalism
Everyone uses problem-solving on a daily basis: paying bills, managing time, and making decisions. It is important to be able to solve problems effectively, especially in mathematics. In 2007, the Mississippi Department of Education produced a set of mathematical objectives for third - through fifth - grade students. These objectives use the phrase problem-solving, without defining its use in the mathematics classroom. To discover what mathematics teachers were actually executing in the classroom, this study used a valid online survey administrated through Qualtrics. The survey focused on determining third - through fifth - grade teachers’ definition of a problem, their beliefs about problem-solving, and the problem-solving strategies they used while instructing students. Additionally, teachers’ thoughts and opinions about mathematical problem-solving were examined by asking a variety of open-ended questions. The participants were third - through fifth - grade teachers in three school districts in the area of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Results indicated there are some differences among teachers concerning what problem-solving actually is and what problem-solving skills are necessary for students to have. Further, there were two distinct opinions on how many mathematical strategies a competent student should use for successful problem-solving. Interestingly, teachers could not distinguish a problem as abstract; instead, they viewed a problem as concrete. The results of this study demonstrated that problem-solving should certainly be further examined in schools across Mississippi and further implemented into the classroom.
Copyright for this thesis is owned by the author. It may be freely accessed by all users. However, any reuse or reproduction not covered by the exceptions of the Fair Use or Educational Use clauses of U.S. Copyright Law or without permission of the copyright holder may be a violation of federal law. Contact the administrator if you have additional questions.
Thomas, Jasmine L., "The Relationship Between Teachers’ Beliefs Concerning Mathematical Problem-Solving and the Strategies Used for Teaching Third - through Fifth - Grade Students" (2015). Honors Theses. 280.