Investigation of the change in sixth grade students’ problem solving abilities, attitude towards problem solving and attitude toward mathematics after mathematics instruction based on polya’s problem solving steps


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2008

Thesis Language: English

Student: Veysel Yıldız

Supervisor: MİNE IŞIKSAL BOSTAN

Abstract:

Teaching mathematics is now gaining more importance, as the new elementary mathematics school curriculum has been adapted to Turkish Educational System. One of the main goals of the curriculum reform is to increase elementary school students’ problem solving abilities in mathematics (Koç, Işıksal & Bulut; 2007). In this study, the aim is to investigate the change in sixth grade students’ problem solving abilities, attitude towards problem solving and attitude toward mathematics after mathematics instruction based on Polya’s problem solving steps. The sample of this study consisted of 53 sixth grade students from an elementary school in Istanbul. The participants consist of a class selected conveniently among all the sixth grade classes in the school. In these selected classes, mathematical problems are solved according to the Polya’s problem solving steps by following different problem solution techniques during the semester.At the end of this study, the three main results were found: 1) Instruction based on Polya’s step has significantly affected students’ problem solving abilities in a positive way, 2) students’ attitudes towards problem solving has changed in a positive way, 3) students’ attitudes towards mathematics is enhanced by the instruction based on Polya’s problem solving steps.