Describing students' problem-solving in differential calculus through metacognition and attitude in mathematics

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching Major in Mathematics


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Science Education

Thesis Adviser

Lydia S. Roleda

Defense Panel Chair

Minie Rose C. Lapinid

Defense Panel Member

Socorro E. Aguja
Auxencia A. Limjap
Voltaire M. Mistades


This study examined the problem-solving of nine graduating senior high school students under the new K to 12 curriculum in the Philippines who are enrolled in the Mathematics for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) track. The objective of the study is to describe the problem solving process of the students as well as to identify the characteristics of the expert, transitional and novice problem solvers. This research also discusses the metacognitive skills that the problem-solvers manifest, as well as their attitudes about enjoyment and valuing of Mathematics. The study is descriptive and qualitative in nature. The data was gathered from the students works on their summative assessment on Differential Calculus, instruments for measuring enjoyment and valuing attitudes in Mathematics. as well as their self-assessment evaluations about their performance in the assessment. To describe the characteristics of the different levels of problem solvers, recurring observations about the respondents within a level were noted. Results show that two were expert problem solvers, one was transitional and six were novice. Expert problem solvers exhibited full conceptual and procedural understanding of the problem, described in detail how they they were able to overcome the difficult problems, and showed that they do not necessarily enjoy Mathematics, but they expressed appreciation towards the subject. Novice problem solvers exhibited poor or no conceptual and procedural understanding of the problems and shared little justifications about their self-assessment evaluations. They recognize the problems that were difficult to answer and they have the tendency to jump into the problem when it is not familiar to them, resulting in less organized workings as compared to the expert problem solvers. The transitional problem solver showed proficient problem-solving ability and perceived more difficult problems than the experts. He was articulate with his ideas and takes more time in planning out his solutions. It was also found that students across all levels spend a long time reading the questions over and over if they perceive the question as difficult.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

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

Physical Description

1 computer disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Mathematics--Study and teaching

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