I am looking for academic references related to this questions. In fact, I need to write a paper which shows the importance of problem-solving approach for everyone. Certainly, this should include mathematical problem solving, but not only that. In other words, why education needs to focus on the problem-solving approach nowadays.

I have been reading some books (see list below) for this purpose.

I really appreciate your help in advance.

Robertson, S. I. (2016). Problem solving: perspectives from cognition and neuroscience. Psychology Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). (1994). Thinking and problem solving. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Schoenfeld, A. H. (1985). Mathematical Problem Solving, Academic Press, Orlando, FL.

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    $\begingroup$ A paper on problem-solving for everyone is probably too broad a topic to broach in a meaningful way. [Hopefully there are more constraints than that on your assignment...] I don't know the first book, but the other two are tomes! Sternberg writes quite a bit about creativity; so, you might also check out the RW Weisberg text, Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts. [It, too, is long: over 600 pages!] $$ $$ I'm not sure that I can post a more meaningful answer given this question's present scope. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ There is a whole slant and need around business analysis and problem solving. Realize that this is very different from rigorous math work, but relying on preponderance of evidence and with a lot of choices in methods for different situations. My general view is that the world is wanting/expecting more and more of this. It's not that any of the analysis is groundbreaking versus something done 50 years ago but that many more people are "information workers" and expected to have familiarty with segmentation, root cause trees, very basic stats, etc. $\endgroup$
    – guest
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ I strongly believe we need to deep into philosophical perspective to answer this question. I mean, why problem solving is important for all of us. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Idk, I think identifying problems is the hardest problem to solve. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 13, 2019 at 3:37
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there is nothing in it specific to mathematics education, and the OP appears to be fishing for help writing a paper for class. $\endgroup$
    – Dan Fox
    Commented Oct 13, 2019 at 11:16

1 Answer 1


Permit me to echo @guest's emphasis on "business analysis." Hardly "academic references," to quote the OP, but...

Here is a company, Kepner-Tregoe, whose focus is problem solving:

Problem solving is at the core of human evolution. It is the methods we use to understand what is happening in our environment, identify things we want to change and then figure out the things that need to be done to create the desired outcome. Problem solving is the source of all new inventions, social and cultural evolution, and the basis for market based economies. It is the basis for continuous improvement, communication and learning.

Another, CC/MIT (MIT Office of Digital Learning):

Why is problem solving important? Good problem solving skills empower you not only in your personal life but are critical in your professional life. In the current fast-changing global economy, employers often identify everyday problem solving as crucial to the success of their organizations. For employees, problem solving can be used to develop practical and creative solutions, and to show independence and initiative to employers.

And a Huffpost article, The Importance of Problem-Solving, by Ken Watanabe, who has emphasized problem-solving instead of memorization:

It's important to realize that being a problem solver isn't just an ability; it's a whole mind-set, one that drives people to bring out the best in themselves and to shape the world in a positive way. Rather than accepting the status quo, true problem solvers are constantly trying to proactively shape their environment.


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