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Problem Solving in Mathematics Education

Peter Liljedahl, Manuel Santos-Trigo, Uldarico Malaspina, and Regina Bruder
Publisher: 
Springer Open
Publication Date: 
2016
Number of Pages: 
39
Format: 
Paperback
Series: 
ICME-13 Topical Surveys
Price: 
19.99
ISBN: 
9783319407296
Category: 
Monograph
[Reviewed by
Charles Ashbacher
, on
09/5/2016
]

It is unlikely that anyone involved in mathematics education will find anything new to them in this short pamphlet. It opens with a discussion of the heuristics of mathematical problem solving, citing the classic work by Pólya in setting down the fundamental strategies used in effectively handling such problems. The next section deals with creative problem solving based on an “Aha!” moment. The classical and amusing case of Archimedes running naked while shouting “Eureka!” is used as the base case. Of course, most such moments are not celebrated with quite as much zest.

The importance of creating imaginative problems for students to solve is also mentioned, which again is not a point of significant discovery. All math teachers understand the value of creating a gem of a problem for their students to consider.

Since this is a brief summary of 39 pages, one cannot expect a great deal. In essence, that is what you get, short statements of points that all math educators know and understand. 


Charles Ashbacher splits his time between consulting with industry in projects involving math and computers, and teaching college classes. In his spare time, he reads about these things and helps his daughter in her lawn care business.

See the table of contents in the publisher's webpage.

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