Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 9–26 | Cite as

A problem-solving conceptual framework and its implications in designing problem-posing tasks

  • Florence Mihaela Singer
  • Cristian Voica


The links between the mathematical and cognitive models that interact during problem solving are explored with the purpose of developing a reference framework for designing problem-posing tasks. When the process of solving is a successful one, a solver successively changes his/her cognitive stances related to the problem via transformations that allow different levels of description of the initial wording. Within these transformations, the passage between successive phases of the problem-solving process determines four operational categories: decoding (transposing the text into more explicit relations among the data and the operating schemes, induced by the constraints of the problem), representing (transposing the problem via a generated mental model), processing (identifying an associated mathematical model based on the mental configurations suggested by the problem and own mathematical competence), and implementing (applying identified mathematical techniques to the particular situation of the problem, with the purpose of drafting a conventional solution). The study of this framework in action offers insights for more effective teaching and can be used in problem posing and problem analysis in order to devise questions more relevant for deep learning.


Problem posing Problem solving Decoding Representing Processing Implementing Multiple choice questions 



The paper was partially supported by the project POSDRU/17/1.1/G/37412.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PloiestiPloiestiRomania
  2. 2.Institute of Education SciencesBucharestRomania
  3. 3.University of BucharestBucharestRomania

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