Problem-Solving Performance and Skills of Prospective Elementary Teachers in Northern Philippines

Hunan Daxue Xuebao 48 (1):122-132 (2021)
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The study determined the problem-solving performance and skills of prospective elementary teachers (PETs) in the Northern Philippines. Specifically, it defined the PETs’ level of problem-solving performance in number sense, measurement, geometry, algebra, and probability; significant predictors of their problem-solving performance in terms of sex, socio-economic status, parents’ educational attainment, high school graduated from and subject preference; and their problem-solving skills. The PETs’ problem-solving performance was determined by a problem set consisting of word problems with number sense, measurement, geometry, algebra, and probability. A mixed-method research design was employed. Senior PETs purposively served as a sample where they mostly preferred to teach other subjects than mathematics. PETs who preferred math performed satisfactorily, while prospective teachers who opted for other subjects performed unsatisfactorily. The PETs’ unsatisfactory output indicates the need for remediation to advance the mathematical material skills and enrich the problem-solving abilities of these primary schools' potential teachers. Besides, results showed that subject preference strongly affected and predicted the problem-solving success of the PETs. PETs who preferred to teach mathematics performed significantly better than their counterparts; hence, mathematics as a field of specialization in the Bachelor of Elementary Education program may be considered by teacher education institutions. Further, most PETs displayed lack of problem-solving skills; thus, a Problem-Solving course is recommended for them.

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