Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1748

Full Length Research Paper

Sixth graders and non-routine problems: Which strategies are decisive for success?

Yeliz Yazgan
  • Yeliz Yazgan
  • Uludag University, Faculty of Education, Elementary Education Department, Turkey.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 19 April 2015
  •  Accepted: 22 June 2015
  •  Published: 10 July 2015


This study investigated the role of each strategy in explaining sixth graders’ (12-13 years old students’) non-routine problem solving success and discriminating between successful and unsuccessful students. Twelve non-routine problems were given to 123 pupils. Answers were scored between 0 and 10. Bottom and top segments of 27% were then determined based on total scores. All scripts of pupils in these segments were then re-scored with regard to strategy use. Multiple regression analysis showed that strategies explain 65% of the problem solving success. Order of importance of strategies are as follows: make a drawing, look for a pattern, guess and check, make a systematic list, simplify the problem, and work backward. According to discriminant analysis results, strategies which play a significant role in distinguishing top and bottom students are look for a pattern, make a drawing, simplify the problem, guess and check and work backward, respectively. 

Key words: Sixth graders, mathematics education, non-routine problems, non-routine problem solving, problem solving strategies.