Development of mathematical problem solving skills is an age old problem in mathematics. This paper details the design of a component of a first year university mathematics course in which group work and mathematical communication skills, especially writing skills, are used as a tool to develop non-routine problem solving skills. In this design Polya’s problem solving framework and a writing heuristic are used synergistically with group work to develop the mathematical skills and enhance the mathematical communication skills of novice students. Students’ perceptions and performance indicate that this strategy has been a success and has facilitated the development of some metacognitive behaviours in the students.
Taylor, JA & McDonald, C 2007, 'Writing in groups as a tool for non-routine problem solving in first year university mathematics', International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 639-655.
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