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Post Secondary Students’ Level of Proficiency in Solving Real World Problems in Mathematics

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: The problem solving competency is the primary goal in all mathematics education curricula. It is acquired by solving mathematical problems belonging either to routine or non-routine category. The study describes the post-secondary students’ levels of proficiency in solving non-routine math problems. The three-stage process in solving mathematics problems by Mayer was used as the frame of analysis. Using the data generated from researcher made instruments, and semi-structured interview of 50 purposively selected participants, the study found that: Majority of the participants showed “good proficiency” in “problem representation” and “problem solving”, the real world problems in Math. It is also revealed that those who are good in problem representation phase are also good in problem solution phase. In general, participants do not always consider answer verification phase as important in the process of solving real world problems in math. The most common difficulties encountered by participants are: language inadequacy and unfamiliarity with the context of the problems. The researchers recommended that the same study be done in some other context and local and if the results are consistent with this study, may consider redesigning new curriculum in post-secondary mathematics education.

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