Problem solving lessons

When you set the objectives for a lesson, are they always content based? To understand how to add fractions, use Pythagoras' theorem...

Have you ever set the objective as to develop a particular problem solving strategy? The one day course "Using resources to develop problem solving skills in secondary mathematics" not only explores the wealth of resources on the STEM website which can be used to develop problem solving skills but looks at specific strategies students may be encouraged to employ. For further details see 


Age11-14, 14-16
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Olwen Morgan

Hmm ... This may prove contentious but here goes ...

If you really want to improve problem-solving in school mathematics, contact Inessa Rifkin or Irina Khavinson at the Russian School of Mathematics (RSM) in Newton, Massachusetts. You can find them via They use maths teaching methods based on the work of Lev Vygotsky, which have long underpinned the strength-in-depth of Soviet/Russian mathematical education - probably still the best in the world.

I'm inclined to suggest that it might be cost-effective either to send a study mission to RSM or else to get Inessa or Irina to provide some consultancy. RSM students are creaming their competitors in the American public education sector.