MP logo MP title

Gyöngyvér Molnár: The complex problem solving of 9-to 17-year-old students

This study aimed at (1) assessing the development of 9- to 17-year-old student's problem solving competencies and (2) comparing their performances on general real-life problems and specific school-context tasks. Two types of tests were administered, one containing explicit mathematics and science word problems, the other isomorph tasks in real-life context. All of the latter were embedded in one realistic situation, a family trip. The mathematics section covered six content dimensions; the science section four. The tasks either required students to select appropriate responses or to solve problems and answer questions in an open ended format. The results show weak correlations between tasks given explicitly versus in real-life context. Significantly better performance was found on the explicit problems in each age group. No significant gender differences could be identified. In the older age groups, correlations between students' achievement in real-life problem solving and their grades tend to be weaker. The findings provide a basis for the improvement of the assessment and monitoring of the effectiveness of education in developing students' complex problem solving skills.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 102. Number 2. 231-264. (2002)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Molnár Gyöngyvér, Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Pedagógiai Tanszék H­6722 Szeged, Petőfi S. sgt. 30-34


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia