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The Study of Obstacles in Mathematics Problem Solving of Lower Secondary Students

Krissada Worapin


This research aimed to study the cause of the obstacles in Mathematics problem solving of lower secondary students. It focused on the students who had difficulty in solving mathematics problems. Sample groups were 40 students in Matayom 3 from the schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Nakhon Patom province. The researcher used purposive sampling based on the score evaluation from the students who scored lower than the average in mathematics problem solving. The tools conducted in this research were the performance test in mathematic problem solving created by the researcher. The reliability rate indicated 0.706, the difficulty index (p) was between 0.71-0.80 and the discrimination value (r) was between 0.26 – 0.46. Another tool in the research was the questions. The data was analyzed by content analysis. The results of the research were : There are 3 causes of the students’ obstacles in mathematics problem solving as followed, 1) Lack of solid foundation in mathematics knowledge. Students did not possess sufficient foundation in mathematics problem solving. Students lacked knowledge and the understanding in rules, formulas, definitions and properties, and above all the contents required in exam. 2) Lack of skills, process, and the ability in mathematics problem solving which showed that students did not have important skills and competency in learning and solving mathematics problems. 3) Lack of coherence and application of knowledge, Students could not apply the body of knowledge gained from the instruction and integrate it to solve the different situations or real life scenario. And according to the analysis of the 3 aspects of the causes in mathematics problem solving, it is found that students lacked the most in skills, process and ability in mathematics problem solving. The second most was the lack in coherence and application of knowledge. The last aspect was the lack of solid foundation in mathematics knowledge.


Mathematics Problem Solving

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