## Emphasis on Problem Solving

# Your ability to solve problems and make good decisions is the true measure of your skill as a leader.

- Brian Tracy

All too often, children get too bogged down with memorization of number facts, theories and formulae. While it is important for them to learn some logical mental calculation tricks (e.g. 19 x 8 can be calculated mentally as 20 x 8 less 8), it is not strictly important for them to master rote calculations (e.g. what is 7532 x 2357) to excel in real life as these can be done using machines (calculators, computers, etc).

At S.A.M, we put significant emphasis on mathematical problem solving as it involves application of mathematics concepts and skills in a wide range of situations, including non-routine, open-ended and real-world problems. These help in development of their logical thinking skills such as Heuristics, Metacognition and Modelling Techniques amongst others. These are skills which are not only useful in higher studies but also in life.

As per the PISA 2012 study, Singapore students were rated the best in problem solving. They possessed highly valued competencies such as

- Innovation
- ability to handle uncertainty
- Apply skills in real life situations
- Willingness to experiment with alternative solutions and relevant