Teaching general problem-solving skills is not a substitute for, or a viable addition to, teaching mathematics

John Sweller, Richard Clark, Paul A. Kirschner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Problem solving is central to mathematics. Yet problem‐solving skill is not what it seems. Indeed, the field of problem solving has recently undergone a surge in research interest and insight but many of the results of this research are both counter‐intuitive and contrary to many widely held views. Nevertheless, in over a half century, no systematic body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of any general problem‐solving strategies has emerged. There is no body of research based on randomized, controlled experiments indicating that such teaching leads to better problem solving.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1303-1304
    Number of pages2
    JournalNotices of the American Mathematical Society
    Volume57
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2010

    Keywords

    • Collaborative load
    • Cognitive architecture
    • Mathematics
    • Problem solving

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