The University of Montana
Department of Mathematical Sciences

Technical report #17/2009

Problem solving for the 21st century

Lyn English
Queensland University of Technology

Bharath Sriraman
The University of Montana


Mathematical problem solving has been the subject of substantial and often controversial research for several decades. We use the term, problem solving, here in a broad sense to cover a range of activities that challenge and extend one’s thinking. In this chapter, we initially present a sketch of past decades of research on mathematical problem solving and its impact on the mathematics curriculum. We then consider some of the factors that have limited previous research on problem solving. In the remainder of the chapter we address some ways in which we might advance the fields of problem-solving research and curriculum development.

Keywords: advances in problem solving; literature review; mathematical problem solving; modeling

AMS Subject Classification: 97

Pdf: Preprint of chapter to appear in B. Sriraman & L. English (Eds). Theories of Mathematics Education: Seeking new frontiers. Springer Science, Berlin/Heidelberg.