Problem Solving at the Middle School Level: A Comparison of Different Strategies

  •  Farah Baraké    
  •  Naim El-Rouadi    
  •  Juhaina Musharrafieh    


This article sheds light and reflects on how students in grades seven and eight read and understand implicit data when solving a story problem. Problem solving experiences help in adding up to the child’s mathematical knowledge and promote a higher level of critical thinking abilities. Seventh and eighth grade students were selected from two private schools. Both schools are of the same socio-economic status. All the students in seventh and eighth grades from these two schools participated in the study, regardless of their school grades or their English proficiency. The results show that very few students understand the implicit data given in the text and use it in the resolution of their problem, even when this data is crucial in solving the problem. The majority of the students try to solve the problem without searching for the implicit data or understanding it. They also have difficulties choosing a strategy and following it until they get an answer, and never seem to check if the answers they found are correct or even logical.

Problem solving has been and still is the basis for learning mathematics. This research is a reflection of what our students think and do once they encounter a story problem. Thus, it sheds some light on the importance of developing teaching strategies that enhance students’ understanding of implicit data and that encourage them to follow their chosen strategy and verify their answers at the end.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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