A Case Study: Sources of Difficulties in Solving Word Problems in an International Private School

Zeina Salemeh, Matthew James Etchells


This qualitative research explored the sources of difficulties students encounter when solving word problems and the role of teachers’ in supporting their learners in the process of problem solving. Three teachers were purposively selected from a private school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Data was collected through observations and interviews. Findings revealed word problems trigger the basic and critical skills of students and give them the opportunity to collaborate. Moreover, there is no manual for teachers to use when doing word problems in class. Teachers need to provide positive reinforcement that directs children to read critically and solve effectively.


Word problems, teaching mathematics, qualitative research

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