Think mathematically: A problem-based learning approach

Tak Wah WONG, Yiu Chi LAI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Mathematics is difficult for many primary school students, but it is an essential subject for developing their thinking abilities, such as the ability to conceptualize, formulate, reason about, communicate, and solve problems. Thus many mathematics educators consider mathematics a powerful way to train critical thought. For these reasons, investigating good methods to increase students’ interest in studying mathematics and then to think mathematically have become important issues in mathematics education. Many researchers agree that the problem-based learning (PBL) approach is an effective approach to train students to learn things through self-discovery, and the results of this study also show that PBL can help students think mathematically. In addition, this paper demonstrates how to use the PBL teaching approach to develop students’ higher-order thinking, and it also uses some examples from mathematics to illustrate the process of conducting PBL lessons. Copyright © 2013 CGPublisher.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
JournalThe International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Wong, T. W., & Lai, Y. C. (2013). Think mathematically: A problem-based learning approach. The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, 19(1), 19-35. doi: 10.18848/2327-7971/CGP/v19i01/49039


  • Think mathematically
  • Problem-based learning
  • Higher-order thinking


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