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Mathematical problem solving: What does it mean to primary teachers?

Baker, F. (2022) Mathematical problem solving: What does it mean to primary teachers? In: 37th Annual Research Forum. Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER), 6 August 2022, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.


The importance of learning mathematical problem solving is an expectation articulated in both the national and Western Australian curricula. What defines a problem and what problem solving skills and abilities are desirable, teachable and evaluable lies in the hands of the teacher. The curricula describes mathematical problem solving as creating an environment where students are able to make choices, interpret, formulate, model and investigate problem situations, and communicate solutions effectively in unfamiliar or meaningful situations. Do teachers view their role as a guide or are they holding a map pointing out the possible routes and interesting sights along the way and letting their students decide their own path?

Through the lens of practising Western Australian teachers, their concept of what constitutes mathematical problem solving is the focus of this presentation and is part of the initial findings of a research project that investigated how Western Australian primary teachers plan for and implement mathematical problem solving in their classrooms. Considering teachers' understanding of this mathematical proficiency may provide an avenue to enhance pre-service training, ongoing professional development and ultimately provide our students with an approach that suits their needs.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
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