Professional Development: Promoting Problem-Solving Expertise

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  • 1 College of New Paltz, New Paltz, NY 12561
  • | 2 New York State Education Department, Albany, NY 12234

We are all looking for ways to make our students better problem solvers. This article presents some ideas to accomplish this goal. Cognitive research and the experience of teachers form the basis for the suggestions made for ways that the teacher can promote class discussion. The suggestions follow the “guided discovery” approach mentioned by Yackel et al. (1990) in which the teacher first analyzes the problem and then asks guided questions to facilitate students' analysis of the problem.


Carolyn Richbart began her career as a sixth-grade teacher and then taught at the middle school level for eleven years.

Lynn Richbart began his career as a middle school teacher and has presented numerous workshops on problem-solving strategies and activities for the middle grades.

Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School
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