Investigating the Effects of the Problem-Solving Approach Among Tertiary Education Students

Proceedings of ‏The 2nd World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education

Year: 2020


[Fulltex PDF]

Investigating the Effects of the Problem-Solving Approach Among Tertiary Education Students

Eduard M. Albay



The development of 21st-century skills that are deemed necessary for learners to excel in a knowledge-based and highly globalized society is at the core of today’s education system. Towards this end, classroom practices focus on the delivery of instruction using various innovative instructional methodologies. The problem-solving approach emphasizes that important mathematics concepts and procedures can be best taught through problem-solving tasks or activities. This study utilized the problem-solving approach as supported by various collaborative strategies as an instructional intervention in teaching mathematics to first year college students and investigated its effects on the enhancement of their performance in and attitude towards College Algebra. The pretest-posttest control group design using two matched groups of respondents based on their intelligence quotient scores and mathematics test scores in the University Admission Test was utilized. Ten problem-solving tasks involving routine, non-routine, and real problems were developed and provided to the experimental group. On the other hand, the conventional approach in teaching and learning was employed in the control group. Necessary were gathered through the attitude scale questionnaire and the researcher-made test and were analyzed using appropriate statistical tools. The results showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group on the bases of their posttest and mean gain scores. The experimental group also posted significant enhancement of their attitude towards college Algebra. Thus, the problem-solving approach, when applied to classroom instruction, can significantly improve students’ cognitive and affective attributes in mathematics, hence indicating the effectiveness of the approach in teaching mathematics.

Keywords: Affective attributes, cognitive attributes, collaboration, problem-solving approach.