Value-Focused Thinking in the Mathematics Classroom: Engaging Students in Decision-Making Through Socially Open-Ended Problem Solving

  • Orlando GonzálezEmail author
  • Takuya Baba
  • Isao Shimada


Value-focused th3inking (VFT) is a methodology originally from management research, in which values, rather than pre-established alternatives, are the primary focus of any decision-making process. Socially open-ended problem solving is a methodology to find resolution to problems embedded in a real-life context and purposively designed to elicit students’ mathematical, social and personal values through modeling and argumentation. Starting from the premise that, under VFT, a decision-making problem is intrinsically an open-ended one, the authors examine in this article the possibility of educationally applying VFT via socially open-ended problem solving. This idea is then illustrated by analyzing the implementation of a socially open-ended problem in a Grade 4 mathematics classroom in Japan.


Values Value-focused thinking Value clarification Valuing process skills Socially open-ended problem solving Decision-making Japanese mathematics education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Assumption UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Hiroshima UniversityHigashi-HiroshimaJapan
  3. 3.Nippon Sport Science UniversityTokyoJapan

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