Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education Major in Mathematics

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Science Education

Thesis Adviser

Auxencia A. Limjap

Defense Panel Chair

Blessilda P. Raposa

Defense Panel Member

Socorro E. Aguja
Arlene A. Pascasio
Adora S. Pili
Isagani B. Jos


The primary intent of this research study is to document and enhance the problem solving skills of 11 preservice mathematics teachers of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University. Using qualitative methods, it seeks to describe the preservice mathematics teachers (a) levels of problem solving performance in terms of grasping process, solution strategy, and knowledge base, (b) levels of problem solving expertise, (c) perceived metacognitive skills, and (d) beliefs about problem solving before and after the implementation of a problem solving bridging course (PSBC). The preservice mathematics teachers written solution scripts, verbal utterances during small-group problem solving sessions, journal entries, and responses in the interviews and questionnaires revealed substandard levels of problem solving performance and underdeveloped sets of metacognitive skills, especially before the PSBC. Majority of the preservice mathematics teachers manifested poor quality of grasping, unsatisfactory reasoning ability, inadequate repertoire of mathematical concepts and heuristics, and inadequate sets of metacognitive skills. There were changes in their levels of problem solving performance after the implementation of the problem solving bridging course. For 7 (64%) of the preservice mathematics teachers, these changes in problem solving performance were substantial enough to qualify them for higher levels of problem solving expertise. For the other 4 (36%) preservice mathematics teachers, the manifested changes in problem solving performance were so minimal that these did not effect any change in their levels of problem solving expertise. With respect to metacognitive skills after the PSBC, 5 (45%) of the 11 preservice mathematics teachers perceived themselves to have slightly better sets of metacognitive skills. Four (36%) perceived themselves to iii have approximately the same sets of metacognitive skills. While the sets of metacognitve skills of 2 (18%) preservice mathematics teachers were attributed inferior characterizations. The beliefs of the preservice mathematics teachers about problem solving were documented and organized into three general categories: perceptions about the problem solving process, self-concept in relation to problem solving, and general opinions about problem solving. The preservice mathematics teachers perceptions about the nature of the problem solving process reflected a mathematical education that lack many of the elements stressed in current reform movements in mathematics teaching. The articulated beliefs relating to self-concept revealed a lack of confidence when confronted with unfamiliar problems, and a deeper concern with finding the correct answer rather than exploring alternative solution strategies. The opinions expressed about the problem solving issues considered in the study were generally non-traditional. The beliefs articulated after the PSBC were generally consistent with the beliefs before the PSBC.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Problem solving--Study and teaching; Mathematics teachers; Mathematical ability-- Testing; Problem-based learning

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