In general, to use mathematics for solving a real-world problem, the first step is to construct a mathematical model of the problem. This involves abstraction from the details of the problem, and the modeller has to be careful not to lose essential aspects in translating the original problem into a mathematical one.

However, constructivism is consistent with current cognitive theories of problem solving and mathematical views of problem solving involving exploration, pattern finding, and mathematical thinking (36,15,20); thus we urge that teachers and teacher educators become familiar with constructivist views and evaluate these views for restructuring their approaches to teaching, learning, and research.

Polya’s (1957) four-step process has provided a model for the teaching and assessing problem solving in mathematics classrooms: understanding the problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan.

The process of working through details of a problem to reach a solution. Problem solving may include mathematical or systematic operations and can be a gauge of an individual's critical thinking skills.

Polya’s Problem Solving Techniques In 1945 George Polya published the book How To Solve It which quickly became his most prized publication. It sold over one million copies and has been translated into 17 languages. In this book he identi es four basic principles of problem solving. Polya’s First Principle: Understand the problem.

Problem solving refers to the process of tackling a problem to try and solve it. In mathematics problem solving makes use of mathematical processes which enable pupils to develop new insights, and sometimes new procedures. It involves exploration, discovery and analysis. Problem solving begins with a task which the pupils understand and are.

This collection of problem-solving teaching resources provides students with materials and strategies to guide them when learning to solve mathematical word problems. Learning to decipher word problems and recognize the correct operation to use in order to solve the problem correctly, is an important skill for students to learn. Use these educational games, activities, worksheets, posters.

Control—resource allocation during problem-solving performance—is a major determinant of problem-solving success or failure. This chapter discusses the effects of two prescriptive control strategies on the problem-solving performance of students. It presents a case study in a mathematical microcosm—techniques of integration.