2013 Volume 15 Number 1
Infusing Problem Solving into Mathematics Content Course for Pre-service Secondary School Mathematics Teachers

Toh Tin Lam, Quek Khiok Seng Ta,y Eng Guan
Leong Yew Hoong, Toh Pee Choon, Ho Foo Him, Jaguthsing Dindyal
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Abstract: This paper presents a re-design of an undergraduate mathematics content course on Introductory Differential Equations for pre-service secondary school mathematics teachers. Based on the science practical paradigm, mathematics practical lessons emphasizing problem-solving processes via the undergraduate content knowledge were embedded within the curriculum delivered through the traditional lecture-tutorial system. The pre-service teachers’ performance in six mathematics practical lessons and the mathematics practical test was examined. They were able to respond to the requirements of the mathematics practical to go through the entire process of problem solving and to carry out “Look Back” at their solution: checking the correctness of their solution, offering alternative solutions, and expanding on the given problem. The use of Mathematics Practical has altered the pre-service teachers’ approach in tackling mathematics problems in a positive direction.

Key words: Mathematical problem solving; Undergraduate mathematics teaching; Mathematics practical; Polya’s model

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