A Review of Problem-Solving Skills in Mathematics and Cooperative Learning among Primary School Students

1Yim Wan Sin*, Ahmad Johari Sihes and Mas Hamidon


This paper review 10 published studies of Polya’s problem-solving strategy and 7 published studies of cooperative learning strategies in improving students’ problem-solving skills in Mathematics. Mathematics is one of the compulsory subjects in primary school curricula. The occurrence of problem solving skills in mathematics is a fundamental means of developing mathematical knowledge among students. In this review, the scope of each publication was examined thoroughly based on the effectiveness of Polya’s problem-solving strategy and the cooperative learning strategies which had helped students in achieving significantly better scores in Mathematics. From this review, Polya’s problem-solving strategy is one of the effective strategy in enhancing primary students’ problem-solving skills. This strategy utilised the Polya’s four phases of problem-solving, which starts with understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan and finally looking back at the completed solution. Cooperative learning strategies boosted primary students’ learning motivation, self-confidence and improved learning attitudes. This strategy involves grouping the students into a group of 4 to 6 who share the same goals to create a conducive learning environment. This review showed that by incorporating both Polya’s problem-solving strategy and cooperative learning strategies in creating an innovative teaching method, the problem-solving skills in Mathematics among primary school students could be potentially enhanced to an unprecedented level.


Problem-Solving Skills in Mathematics, Cooperative Learning, Polya’s Problem-Solving Strategy.

Paper Details
IssueIssue 5