The Examination of Strategies Used By Mathematics Teacher Candidates in Solving Non-Routine Problems

Problem is a situation that requires resolution, and for which the path to the solution is not immediately known (Posamantier&Krulik, 1998). Problem solving is one of the important factor that affects mathematics learning and can be defined as trying to find a suitable action to reach a desired point but being unable to reach expected end (Polya, 1962). Principles and Standards for School Mathematics in the USA (NCTM, 2000) stated that “Solving problems is not only a goal of learning mathematics but also a major means of doing so” (p. 52). Polya (1990) focused on four problem solving steps: understanding the problem, planning, applying the plan, and evaluating the solution. Posamantier&Krulik (1998) classified problem solving strategies as Working Backwards, Finding a Pattern, Adopting a Different Point of View, Solving a Simpler Analogous Problem, Considering Extreme Cases, Making A Drawing (Visual Representation), Intelligent Guessing and Testing, Accounting for All Possibilities, Organizing Data, Logical Reasoning. Many researches focused on problem solving (Silver&Cai, 1996; Yazgan&Bintaş, 2005; Elia, Heuvel-Panhuizen&Kolovou, 2009; Olkun et. al., 2009; Çelebioğlu&Yazgan, 2009; Gür&Hangül, 2015; Aksoy, Bayazit&Kırnap-Dönmez, 2015). In light of this researches it was seen that studies related to problem solving strategies generally examine investigated the strategies generally used by teachers and students in problem solving process. However when the literature is examined, there has been limited researches which directly questioned to examine strategies used by mathematics teacher candidates in solving non-routine problems. This research will determine whether mathematics teacher candidates were aware of the strategies they used in problem solving. For this purpose the aim of the study was to examine mathematics teacher candidates’ strategies used in solving non-routine problems. Keywords- Mathematics teacher candidates, problem solving strategies, non-routine problems.