Attending to Feeling: Productive Benefit to Novel Mathematics Problem-SolvingReport as inadecuate

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International Education Journal, v7 n4 p410-422 Sep 2006

What does attention to feeling have to do with solving problems in mathematics? Can feeling be used to navigate a path to a solution? What is meant by a feeling anyway? To what kind of problem does this productive benefit refer? A study of 405 middle school students solving two novel mathematics problems found that individuals utilising a feeling or free-flowing approach to reasoning were more likely to be successful in reaching a solution than those who did not. Indeed, feeling cognitions were found to have both a direct and indirect effect on the generation of a solution depending on whether mainly spatial or verbal processing was required. This finding is consistent with neuroscience research. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)

Descriptors: Middle School Students, Problem Solving, Thinking Skills, Cognitive Style, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Mathematics Education, Mathematics Skills, Causal Models, Predictor Variables, Construct Validity

Shannon Research Press. Available from: Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail: editor[at]; Web site:

Author: Aldous, Carol R.


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