Teaching problem-solving strategies in school mathematics

24th March 2022 : 16:00 - 17:30

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Subject Pedagogy

Speaker: Dr Colin Foster

Location: Online

Convener: Karen Skilling

Audience: Public

Please save the date for the next seminar with Dr Colin Foster, which will be online: Join Zoom Meeting

‘Problem solving’ is a key stated aim within mathematics curricula around the world. But the term is understood in starkly different ways, and problem solving is often felt to be conspicuous by its absence from much of everyday school mathematics. In this seminar, I will examine what problem solving might be and how it might be taught – assuming that it can. In particular, I will try to distinguish general from more specific problem-solving strategies/heuristics and consider when and how these might be learned. I will situate this thinking within our current work in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University towards designing and trialling a free, fully-resourced school mathematics curriculum.

Dr Colin Foster is a Reader in Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University, UK. His research interests focus on the learning and teaching of mathematics in ways that support students’ conceptual understanding. He is particularly interested in the design of classroom tasks that enable students to develop the necessary fluency in mathematical processes that will support them in solving mathematical problems. He is also currently exploring the use of confidence assessment as a tool for formative assessment.