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The main educational focus is the process of solving or doing mathematics, and not only the answer and

the product. Ie; in the broader sense the emphasis is on the process of mathematical of thinking (such as create new knowledge) rather than on the product of mathematical thought (facts, concept, theorems, etc). Discuss.

What is mathematical thinking? Mathematic always have a problems to be solve. Adapting Polyas model problem solving process is emphasis through solving a problem in teaching and learning which is consist four steps as following; i. ii. iii. iv. Understand Plan strategies Trigger strategies Recheck

Through the problem solving a mind of mathematical thinking is developing. Problem solving process in mathematic depends on the level of mathematical thinking of student. The student should be able to understand the mathematic problem, use a relevant strategy and able to use techniques in problem they have solved before. Successful problem solving may therefore represent the ultimate in understanding (Ruth&George, 1984). When a student is understand means the student have use mathematical thinking to solve which we can conclude that mathematical of thinking is being apply. What is said by mathematical thinking? James(2001) define mathematical thinking as a cognitive approach to a problem that is both logical and mathematically sound. When one is solving a mathematical problem, one is thinking mathematics (Yudariah,1997). Whilst Barbara (2007) describes mathematical thinking through in figure 1 below. She notes that the bubbles, all of which havent yet managed to fill, describe what a person do when they are engaged in a mathematical task; the thinking probably happens as they move along the links between the bubbles;

Figure 1: Mathematical Thinking There are many ways can describe as mathematical thinking, above all, mathematical thinking is when the person able to solve varies kind of problem by applying varies kind of mathematic method have been learn whether in academics problem or real-life problem by connect the mathematical ideas. Prosess of mathematical thinking vs product of mathematical thought Learning mathematic is essential and crucial in education as its known to develop the mathematical of thinking in person which is useful for student in their real life where every living around us applied mathematic concept such as in science, technology, engineering and etc. Every mathematic problem need to be solve, where in order to solve it, a person have to go through mathematical thinking to get the answer or product of mathematical thought. To get a clearly understanding, lets read the following example by Lim (2008) of statistic I&II problem for form five level:

The pie chart shows the amount spent on five items by a public library on particular month. The total amount spent is RM540 and the amount spent on magazines is RM 108. Find the ratio of the amount spent on magazines to the amount spent on stationery. Solution: Let the angle of the sector representing magazines be x. x = 108 360 540 X = 108 x 360 540 = 72 Hence, the angle of the sector representing stationery = 360-72-72-120-40 =56 Thus, the required ratio = 72: 56 = 9: 7



120 72



From this example, product of mathematical thought is 9 : 7. In term to obtain the correct answer, the student has to understand well the problem, get the best strategy by using and know to link the given data to get accurate answer. That process of understanding question and get the best strategy is called mathematical thinking. Thus, mathematical thinking is important to learn for student to go through out the lesson. This support by two research by Brown, Wilson, Fitzallen (2007) and Hurst (2008) on emphasis of mathematical thinking of students do constructed their own knowledge appeared to be very powerful in assisting student understanding of mathematical concepts involved. Meanwhile, in Clifford (2005) studies, there are many aspects in real live needed mathematical thinking in order to survive well in the world. Clearly mention in Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED) , 2007 of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) project about lesson study focusing in mathematical thinking in different culture. This shown that process mathematical thinking is important than on the product of mathematical thought in mathematical learning.

What sort of tasks might encourage mathematical thinking? James (2001) notes that giving the student an illusion of choice can encourage mathematical thinking by giving them multiple problems from which to choose, their interest in the problem they select to solve can be multiplied as they feel they have some control. By not timing them and allowing the students flexibility of time, they will be allowed to develop the solution at their own pace and foster the creation of mathematical thinking. This statement supported by Yudariah (1997) in her technical report, notes that through active participation in problemsolving together with the opportunity to reflect on student mathematical activities, we can teach students to think in a mathematical manner. What can the teacher do to promote mathematical thinking? Clearly, there are many ways in which teachers can work effectively with their students. Issues such as assessment, class norms and structure, student cognition and learning, and the development of mathematics are also important to teaching focus, the goal of teachers has been to work with the students to describe and question what they understand. This raises issues of how teacher can facilitate their ability to do this. It leads to ask, "How do I know I am right?", especially when the students ask teachers this question. Teachers can asking an effective question which have been suggest PBS TeacherLine (2006) to develop mathematical thinking among student as following; i. To help students build confidence and rely on their own understanding, ask Why is that true? How did you reach that conclusion? Does that make sense? ii. To help students learn to reason mathematically, ask Is that true for all cases? Explain. Can you think of a counterexample? How would you prove that? iii. To check student progress, ask What do you notice when? Why did you decide to organize your results like that? Do you think this would work with other numbers?


To help students collectively make sense of mathematics, ask What do you think about what _____ said? Do you agree? Why or why not? Does anyone have the same answer but a different way to explain it?


To encourage conjecturing, ask What would happen if? What if not? Do you see a pattern? Can you explain the pattern? What are some possibilities here?


To promote problem solving, ask What do you need to find out? What information do you have? \ Will you do it mentally? With pencil and paper? Using a number line?


To help when students get stuck, ask How would you describe the problem in your own words? What do you know that is not stated in the problem? \ How did you tackle similar problems?


To make connections among ideas and applications, ask How does this relate to? What ideas that we have learned before were useful in solving this problem? What uses of mathematics did you find in the newspaper last night?


To encourage reflection, ask Does you answer seem reasonable? Why or why not? Can you describe your method to us all? Can you explaining why it works? What if you had started with rather than?

Conclusion The ability to think mathematically and to use mathematical thinking to solve problems is an important goal of schooling. In this respect, mathematical thinking will support science, technology, economic life and development in an economy. Meanwhile, mathematical literacy is the ability to use mathematics for everyday living, and for work, and for further study, and assessments present students with problems set in realistic contexts.


Ball, Barbara (December, 2002).What is mathematical thinking?. [On-line] Brown, Natalie., Wilson, Karen., Fitzallen, Noleine(2007). Using an Inquiry Approach to Develop Mathematical Thinking.[On-line] Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED) (2007). Collaborative Studies on Innovations for Teaching and Learning Mathematics in Different Cultures (II) - Lesson Study focusing on Mathematical Thinking. [On-line] Dunlap, James (November 27, 2001). Mathematical Thinking. [On-line] Hurst, Chris(2008). Using Task-Based Interviews to Assess Mathematical Thinking of Primary School Students. [On-line] Pickover A., Clifford (2005). A Passion For Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for reality. USA: John Wiley & Sons. Rees, Ruth., & Barr, George (1984). Diagnosis And Prescription In The Classroom: Some Common Maths Problems. London: Harper&Row. TeacherLine, PBS (2006). Developing Mathematical Thinking with Effective Questions.[On-line] Yudariah Mohammad Yusof (1997). Teaching Mathematical Thought vs Teaching Mathematical Thinking In Undergraduate Mathematics Education (LT/M Bil. 5/1997). Skudai, UTM: Jabatan Matematik UTM Lim Swee Hock(2008). ACE Analysis Mathematics. Selangor: Oxford Fajar Sdn. Bhd