PROBLEM SOLVING BEHAVIOR OF SECONDARY LEVEL STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS AT FUJAIRAH IN UAE By Dr. E. Ramganesh and V. Mugundan

Abstract

The purpose of the investigation was to ascertain what mathematical problem solving behavior is in the secondary mathematics classroom. Problem solving means engaging in a task for which the solution method is not known in advance. In order to find a solution, students must draw on their knowledge, and through this process, they will often develop new mathematical understandings. A learner may not be able to solve every kind of problem, but, a teacher has the capacity to devise strategies and procedures to approach problems (Willats,1990). To a mathematician, problem solving means a mathematical situation for which a solution is needed, and for which a direct route to a solution in not known (Polya,1962). Schoenfeld (1992) adapted Polya’s definition to the field of mathematics education, and defined problem solving as a process wherein students encounter a question for which they have no immediate apparent resolution, not an algorithm that they can directly apply to get an answer.  The present piece of research work makes its attempt to ascertain the mathematical problem solving behavior exhibited by secondary students while solving mathematics problem in the classroom. The study identified 15 problem solving behaviors and results reveal that the students need to be trained to develop their problem solving behavior in mathematics.

Keywords:  Problem solving behavior, Strategic skills