Problem Solving

Problem Solving
Solving and building explanations and presenting solutions to conceptually important problems. Analyzing research on problem solving and its role in teaching and learning mathematics.
 Hours3.0 Credit, 3.0 Lecture, 0.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesStrong background in undergraduate mathematics; instructor's consent.
 TaughtFall Contact Department, Winter Contact Department, Summer Contact Department
Course Outcomes

Scholarship in Problem Solving

Students understand and can evaluate important issues, current and historical trends, theories, paradigms of research, and research findings in the field of mathematical problem solving, as well as their implications for the teaching and learning of problem solving explicitly and implicitly in the public schools, mathematics teacher development, and participation in mathematics education scholarship.

Critical Stance

Students can apply principles of quality research to analyze and critique research on the mathematical process of problem solving, and understand the affordances and constraints of research paradigms and methodologies in this body of research.

Problem Solving as a Process

Students understand general approaches to and a variety of heuristics in the problem solving process and can apply these to solve various problems in mathematics as well as other areas of life.

Teaching Through Problem Solving

Students understand the pitfalls of teaching problem solving as a distinct content area of mathematics and the benefits of using problem solving as a process in the teaching of all mathematics. They understand how to design instruction to teach mathematics through problem solving.


Students recognize the key role that problem solving plays in the field of mathematics as well as in the learning of school mathematics. They see the valuable insights provided by the literature on the teaching and learning of mathematics through problem solving, and feel a desire to continually seek opportunities to improve their ability to teach mathematics through problem solving and promote better instruction in schools by incorporating problem solving as a process for learning mathematics.

Spiritual Stewardship

Students strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ in both their personal and professional lives, seek consistency between their understanding of our trials here on earth as related to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and principles of mathematical problem solving processes. Graduates use this enriched understanding problem solving as a method for teaching and learning mathematics by giving all students the agency and opportunity to solve mathematical problems on their own.