Mathematic Problem Solving Strategi20/02/2009
Definition of Problem
A mathematical problem, like any problem in life, is defined as a problem because it causes us much difficulty in attaining a solution. If the solution, or even the procedure for solving it, is obvious to you then it is no longer a problem but just an exercise. Much of our classroom mathematics is composed of repetitive exercises. ( This teaching method does have a useful purpose but it should not be all that mathematics is about. )
A question is a problem if the procedure or method of solution is not immediately known to you but requires you to apply creativity and previous knowledge in new and unfamiliar situations. In a problem, you are not aware of any algorithm that will guarantee a solution.
“To have a problem means to search consciously for some action appropriate to attain some clearly conceived but not immediately attainable aim. To solve a problem means to find such an action.” (George Polya)