Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Teaching & Learning


This naturalistic inquiry explored the relationship between writing and mathematical problem solving. The use of analytical writing and creative writing was examined to see if it was a beneficial heuristic for teaching understanding of mathematical problem solving in a seventh-grade class. The teacher acted as the principal researcher.

The treatment consisted of two distinct segments. Students wrote narrative, analytical accounts of their problem-solving process. They used a teacher-constructed study guide based on Polya's problem-solving framework (Understand the Problem, Devise a Plan, Carry Out the Plan, and Look Back / Evaluate) with metacognitive questioning as a guide for this writing. Students also wrote original mathematical problems and generated stories with mathematical constructs. Throughout this study (1) teacher modeling, (2) guided practice, (3) cooperative small groups, (4) individual work, and (5) journal reflections were used.

Assessment was based on teacher observations, student writing, daily written mathematical work, and the pre- and post-test results. It was determined that analytical/creative writing can be successfully employed to teach for better comprehension of mathematical problem solving.