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Teaching Problem-Solving Skills

by Alan H. Schoenfeld

Year of Award: 1981

Award: Lester R. Ford

Publication Information: The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 87, 1980, pp. 794-805

Summary: This paper deals with two questions: (1) Can we accurately describe the strategies of used by expert mathematicians to solve problems? and (2) Can we teach students to use those strategies?

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About the Author: (from The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 87, (1980)) Alan H. Schoenfeld received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1973, working under Karel deLeeuw in topology and measure theory. After two years at Davis he joined the SESAME group at U.C. Berkeley, where he began his current “research and development in ‘human AI’ where the research goal is to create detailed models of human problem-solving, the development goal to use the models to teach students to solve problems the way experts do.” He would like to hear from colleagues who are either studying or trying to teach problem solving. The author dedicates this paper to the memory of Karel deLeeuw, in appreciation of his spirit of inquiry and his devotion to his students.


Subject classification(s): Index
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 24, 2008