Student Ambiguity Tolerance as Predictor of Problem-Solving Ability in Mathematics


Development of problem-solving ability among students is one of the main goals of mathematics education. This study investigated the relationship between student ambiguity tolerance and their problem-solving ability in mathematics. In particular, it sought to determine whether or not students' positive reaction toward unfamiliar or uncertain stimuli predict their ability to solve non-routine word problems. A total of 182 junior high school students participated in the study. Two instruments were used namely, the McLain Multiple Stimulus Types Ambiguity Tolerance (MSTAT-II) Scale and a problem-solving ability test. Both tests were subjected to validity and reliability analyses. Results showed that ambiguity tolerance predicts problem-solving ability in mathematics. In addition, ambiguity tolerance and problem-solving ability have a moderate and positive association. A detailed analysis of student solutions and empirical evidence suggest that the use of non-routine problems be employed across various subject matters in mathematics to develop not only problem-solving skills but critical and logical reasoning as well as creativity among students.

Author Information
Mabel Buela, University of the Philippines Rural High School & University of the Philippines Los Baños, The Philippines
Ma. Nympha Beltran-Joaquin, University of the Philippines Diliman, The Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2018
Stream: Primary & Secondary Education

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