# Critical Thinking Skills Questions In Mathematics

Both critical thinking and problem solving are intertwined and similar in a way that they both involve steps and processes to tackle thought-provoking challenges such as applying solid reasoning, understanding the interconnections among systems, framing, analyzing and synthesizing information.So, when students participate in problem solving in mathematics or for that matter any other discipline, they are engaged in critical thinking in their analysis of the problems and in the synthesis and application of previously learned concepts.Although the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) recommends that elementary and secondary mathematics instructions address problem solving, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking, many of us at the College level still struggle to engage students in critical thinking and problem solving activities.

Both critical thinking and problem solving are intertwined and similar in a way that they both involve steps and processes to tackle thought-provoking challenges such as applying solid reasoning, understanding the interconnections among systems, framing, analyzing and synthesizing information.So, when students participate in problem solving in mathematics or for that matter any other discipline, they are engaged in critical thinking in their analysis of the problems and in the synthesis and application of previously learned concepts.Although the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) recommends that elementary and secondary mathematics instructions address problem solving, quantitative reasoning and critical thinking, many of us at the College level still struggle to engage students in critical thinking and problem solving activities.

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Students do not develop problem-solving abilities, nor they become critical thinkers overnight.

Critical thinking and problem solving are acquired skills that require instruction and practice, as well as time, involvement and devotion from both the students and instructors alike.

Well, you may be tempted to say, “Jump over that line! Halpern examines the stages in the model of problem solving proposed by the English psychologist Graham Wallas (1858 – 1932), which is commonly known as the model of the process of creativity.

” – I can assure you that the “line” is so high for some students, that the “line” is the “problem” – Got the picture? These four stages are: preparation (definition of issue, observation, and study), incubation (step back from the problem and let the mind contemplate and work it through), illumination (the moment when a new idea finally emerges), and verification (checking it out).

Amina Eladdadi, Mathematics Department “What was I thinking,” one of my Calculus students exclaimed when I pointed out the mistake he made while solving an applied math problem on free-fall motion that required both synthesis and analysis.

“Well, I am glad you’re thinking at all, that’s a good place to start,” I replied with a sense of humor.

Halpern argues that the incubation is the most difficult stage and the least understood and therefore devotes a whole section of this chapter to it.

Notwithstanding the many stages in the model, it all begins by looking for a clear statement of the problem, and defining it as accurately as possible.

Two models that are worth noting are the Polya’s and Wallas’ problem-solving models.

In his best-selling classic How to Solve It (Princeton University Press, 1945), George Polya (1887 – 1985), a Hungarian mathematics educator, identifies the four main steps that form the basis of any problem solving.

## Comments Critical Thinking Skills Questions In Mathematics

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