Thinking Process of Naive Problem Solvers to Solve Mathematical Problems

  •  Jackson Mairing    


Solving problem is not only a goal of mathematical learning. Students acquire ways of thinking, habits of persistence and curiosity, and confidence in unfamiliar situations by learning to solve problems. In fact, there were students who had difficulty in solving problems. The students were naive problem solvers. This research aimed to describe the thinking process of naive problem solvers based on heuristic of Polya. The researcher gave two problems to students at grade XI from one of high schools in Palangka Raya, Indonesia. The research subjects were two students with problem solving scores of 0 or 1 for both problems (naive problem solvers). The score was determined by using a holistic rubric with maximum score of 4. Each subject was interviewed by the researcher separately based on the subject’s solution. The results showed that the naive problem solvers read the problems for several times in order to understand them. The naive problem solvers could determine the known and the unknown if they were written in the problems. However, they faced difficulties when the information in the problems should be processed in their mindsto construct a mental image. The naive problem solvers were also failed to make an appropriate plan because they did not have a problem solving schema. The schema was constructed by the understanding of the problems, conceptual and procedural knowledge of the relevant concepts, knowledge of problem solving strategies, and previous experiences in solving isomorphic problems.

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