n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - Problems with word problems in mathematics

Volume 2012, Issue 13
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


Many teachers complain that learners find word problems in mathematics more difficult than straight computation, and that many learners dislike and even fear word problems. Different reasons are given for this phenomenon, of which the most common is that learners cannot read with understanding and therefore do not know what is required of them. One way to resolve this dilemma is simply to sidestep it - teach the methods, tools, techniques, and formulas which society believes make up mathematical knowledge and then test and examine in such a way that this kind of knowledge will ensure a good pass rate. Although this was a popular and common choice in the past, extensive research and practical (and personal) experience show clearly that this type of mathematics education is no real education at all and does not equip learners to deal with mathematical problems or to cope with further education in mathematics.

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