# Masters Dissertation

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by missevans29, Aug 30, 2011.

1. ### missevans29

Hello all, I was just wondering if I could gain some feedback. I am undertaking a masters dissertation and was thinking about completing it on the area of word problem solving (primary year3). Does anyone feel this is an issue in your classrooms?
Thanks

2. ### bombaysapphireStar commenter

Solving word problems is an issue for some students all the way through primary and secondary school.
I only teacher Year 9 upwards and my bottom sets really struggle with identifying which operation to use. The group I have had this year seem to have a problem identifying finding a difference with subtraction - I haven't had that difficulty before. Knowing that they need to divide, and which way round, regularly causes problems.

3. ### missevans29

Thank you for that. I think it's a big issue. Just unsure of what to measure.

4. ### CB123New commenter

Problem solving is deff a problem in my school (Ive taught in KS2 for 9 years) My school has a high number of children with SEN and EAL. Often they get to grips with the basics maths facts but then struggle to apply them into solving problems.

5. ### ic3g1rl

The primary school students I tutor have problems coping with the different words that are used to mean the same operation. For instance:
Subtraction: Take away, minus, difference etc.
This means that in word problems they have to identify what operation is required from a very large group of words. For those students with language difficulties, which includes most of my tutees, this often means that word problems are very difficult to tackle, and can be very disheartening for the students.

6. ### Polecat

'Solving word problems is an issue for some students all the way through primary and secondary school.'
It is an issue beyond secondary schools, and extends to university level.
When solving straight mathematical problems, many students are either on auto-pilot or have a strategy for saying something relevant. When faced with a word problem, some students just freeze and have an inability to translate the verbal information into mathematical form.
I do wonder whether this phenomenon has its roots in the emphasise in language teaching on meaning, feelings/emotion, rather than the extraction of numerical and implicational/logical information.

7. ### AnonymousNew commenter

I like a recent question I saw on a GCSE paper. A complex word question. Then "Use algebra to solve it".
I like that kind of question - but absolutely no clue given as to what algebra to use. Makes you think and apply what you know. That's where the problem is and something that needs tackling.