Learning problem solving skills teaches us different ways of thinking. It gives us confidence in finding the right solution. It brings out curiosity. Persistence becomes second nature. In the workplace and in everyday life, being a good problem solver can definitely spell a world of advantages. Problem solving in mathematics has given us a foundation to build on in our daily life filled with never ending problems.
George Polya, father of problem solving, a Hungarian mathematician and a professor at Stanford University (1940-1953) wrote a book in 1945 entitled “How to Solve It”. In his book, George Polya outlines the process of solving a problem.
1. Understanding the problem
2. Devising a plan
3. Carrying out the plan
4. Looking back