Problem-solving: A Necessary Skill
The Mathematics Problem-solving Competition among Grade 9 students in Jamaica emerged as part of the assessment for a final-year undergraduate mathematics education course “Investigations and Problem-Solving”. This assessment involves course participants working in secondary schools for a short period of time engaging students in problem-solving and then organizing the staging of a mathematics problem-solving competition.
Mathematics, as a way of thinking, provides the platform for the development of problem-solving skills which are very necessary in this competitive world that is highly scientific and technologically driven. The Mathematics Problem-solving Competition, which began in 2002, is organized by the School of Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The competition is aimed at promoting the development of problem-solving skills in students through the use of open-ended problems in mathematics classrooms.
The School of Education recognizes the need to get students to appreciate the power of mathematics and to value its use as a problem-solving tool. In light of this, the School looks forward to hosting the problem-solving competition annually, and to organize workshops for teachers, with a view to developing their skills in the use of such an approach and to improving students' understanding of Mathematics and their performance in the subject.