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The point of education is to teach people to think, analyze and to become better

problem solvers. Problem solving has been a core theme in education for several decades.

Educators and policy makers agree on the importance of the role of problem solving skills

for school and real life success. A primary purpose of this study was to investigate the

influence of cognitive abilities on mathematical problem solving performance and how it

affects the academic performance of Grade 11 students. Mathematical knowledge and

general intelligence were found to be the only variables that contributed significant

variance to closed problem solving performance. When a student is faced in a math

equation, it is important to know the right method in order to solve the problem. In history

problem solving strategies are useful when conducting a research. When a student is not

taught how to improve problem solving skills, they will find themselves struggling to catch

up to their lessons and it leads to poor academic performance. If students will not seek

assistance they may find themselves failing grades and being unable to pursue the life goals

they desire not because the students are not capable of learning the material but because

they lack problem solving skills. Problem solving skills are the ability to analyze a situation

and determine a course of action that leads to a workable solution. Thorndike (1891) cited

that problem solving was viewed as a process in which unsuccessful responses were

gradually “stamped out” and successful responses “stamped in”.

Everyone in their everyday and professional lives, regularly solves problems. One

of the important quality an employer often identify when hiring applicants is their problem

solving skills. Students need to develop the ability to apply problem solving skills when

faced with issues or problems that are new to them. The development and use of problem

solving skills also improves learning. According to Orhan and Ruhan, 2006, students will

see that they are learning to find the solution to a problem. In all active learning process,

the learners learn from their own needs and pace. Each society expects from its education

system that it enable the individuals to become an effective problem solver in their real life

(Walker and Lofton, 2003; Chin and Chia, 2004). Few if any, people are rewarded in their

professional lives for memorizing information and completing examination, yet

examinations are the primary arbiter of success in society. Unfortunately, students are

rarely, if ever, required to solve meaningful problems as part of their curricula.

The purpose of this study is to find the relationship of Problem Solving Skills to

the Academic Performance of students. Proving that problem solving skills requires more

that the acquisition of prerequisite skills. Specific models of problem solving instructions

need to be proposed and tested in order to help students develop their problem solving

skills and learn to analyze or explicate the nature of the problems to be solved. This study

aims to find the connection of problem solving ability of students in their better Academic


Statement of the Problem

Specifically, this study aims to find the relationship of Problem Solving Skills to

the Academic Performance of Grade 11 students in Victorias National High School S.Y.

2019-2020. Specifically this study sought answers to the following questions.

Specific objective (1)

1. What is the profile of Grade 11 students in terms of?

1.1 Academic Performance in Mathematics (1st semester)

1.2 Age

1.3 Educational Background of parents

1.4 Sex

1.5 Time spent in studying

Specific objective (2)

2. What is the relationship of Problem Solving Skills to the Academic Performance of

students when taken as a whole and when grouped according to?


2.1 Academic Performance in Mathematics (1st semester)

2.2 Age

2.3 Educational Background of parents

2.4 Sex

2.5 Time spent in studying

3. Is there any significant difference on the respondent’s problem solving skills and their

academic performance?

4. Is there any significant relationship between the problem solving skills and academic

performance of the respondents?

5. Is there any significant relationship between the problem solving skills and academic

performance of respondents when grouped according to profile?


From the statements mentioned hypotheses were formulated:

H1. There is no significant difference on the respondent’s problem solving skills and their

academic performance.

H2. There is no significant relationship that exist between the problem solving skills and

academic performance of the respondents.

H3. There is no significant relationship that exists between the problem solving skills and

academic performance of respondents when grouped according to profile.


Conceptual Framework

The schematic diagram shows the relationship between the independent variable

and dependent variable. Independent variable includes the socio-demographic profile of

students which includes the age, educational background of parents, sex, academic

performance of students (1st semester) and their time spent in studying. Dependent variable

which includes the Academic Performance if it is outstanding, very satisfactory,

satisfactory, fairly satisfactory and did not meet expectations.



Socio Demographic Profile Level of Academic

Of students
A. Outstanding
A. Academic Performance
in Mathematics 1st B. Very Satisfactory
semester C. Satisfactory
Problem Solving Skills
B. Age D. Fairly Satisfactory
C. Educational E. Did not meet
Background of parents Expectations
D. Sex
E. Time spent in studying

Figure 1: Schematic Diagram showing the relationship between independent and dependent


There is strength in the awareness of vulnerabilities and in the willingness to

explore positive, supported change.

Problem solving is an activity requiring specific skills. The LIBRE (Listen, Identify

a challenge, Brainstorm options, Reality test, Encourage) Model is a problem-solving

approach designed to process troublesome social interactions (Guerra, 2007).

Theories of problem solving are dominated by the work of Newell and Simon on

GPS (General Problem Solver). This work established the information processing

paradigm for the study of Problem Solving and the concepts of “means-ends-analysis” and

problem space. According to the GPS Framework, Problem Solving involves the

identification of sub goals and the use of methods (especially heuristics) to classify the sub

goals. In De Bono’s Lateral Thinking Theory he stressed the importance of looking at a

problem with a fresh perspective. Problem Solving Skills appear to be related to many other

aspects of cognition (Frederikse, 1984) such as schema (the ability to remember similar

problems, pattern recognition (recognition familiar problem elements) and creativity

(developing new solutions). The issue of transfer is highly relevant to problem solving. An

interesting note is that none of the mathematics educators required that the student achieve

some level of quality (however quality is defined) in order to consider their process

problem solving. Additional requirements create a certain level of quality. But, these

requirements themselves do not distinguish between a “good” problem solver and a “poor”

one, only between a problem solver and a non-problem solver. A good problem solver is

closer to the possibility of reaching a solution. Hattie, et al. (1996) states that if we aim to

increase students’ academic success and retention we must focus on their skills in solving


Self – efficacy theory predicts that students work harder on a learning task when

they judge themselves as capable as when they lack confidence in their ability to learn. For

example, Zimmerman & Martinez- Pons (1990) found that students rating of their verbal

skills was strongly correlated with their reported use of active learning strategies on a

verbal task. Schunk (1991) reported a positive correlations between self-efficacy and

persistence on exercise problems during arithmetic learning. These kinds of results support

the prediction that self-efficacy is related to deeper and more active processing of

information during learning.

Self-efficacy theory predicts that students who improve their self-efficacy will

improve their success in learning to solve problems. Schunk and Hanson (1985) provided

self- efficacy instruction to some students successfully solving arithmetic problems, while

occasionally making positive feedback from the teacher. Students who received training

learned to solve arithmetic problems more effectively than students who did not. These

findings support the idea that self- efficacy can influence how students learn to solve

problems in an academic setting.

As a student it is important to discover the problem solving skills and its

relationship to the academic performance. Problem solving skills refers to our ability to

solve problems in an effective and timely manner without any impediments. An illustration

of the conceptual framework found in the schematic diagram shows the relationship of

problem solving skills and academic performance of students in Grade 11 according to the

socio-demographic profile of students.



The main purpose of this comparative study is to provide information regarding

Problem Solving Skills and its relationship to the Academic Performance of Grade 11

students. The study considers the students personal information such as their name

(optional) sex, age, section, academic performance in Mathematics (1st semester) and their

time spent in studying.

The researchers limited the study to 100 and above male and female Senior High

School students enrolled in the first semester of school year 2019-2020 of Victorias

National High School, Victorias City Negros Occidental. Each of the respondents were

given a questionnaire to answer .The students selected came from Grade 11 Academic and

TVL track to avoid biases and get objective perception.

Significance of the study

The study is conducted to find out the different Problem Solving Skills and its

relationship to the Academic Performance of grade 11 students in Victorias National High

School, Barangay V, Victorias City Negros Occidental. The result of the study provides

information and insight which may be beneficial and have a great value to students, parents,

teachers, school administrators and future researchers.

Students: The study is significant and beneficial to students in a way that they will discover

their skills in Problem Solving. This paper will provide them information in Problem

Solving Skills and how it affects their Academic Performance in an effective learning


Parents: The study is significant and beneficial to parents because they were the one who

will enable and help their children improve and be open on the different problem solving

skills they possess and help them in using it for a better academic performance.

Teachers: The study is significant and beneficial to teachers because they were also the

one who will determine the different Problem Solving Skills of students and on what way

they can help and encourage students have a better Academic Performance.

School Administrators: This study is significant and beneficial to school administrators

because this paper will provide them information and ideas on the relationship of problem

solving skills and academic performance. This study will help them in assisting the teachers

in teaching the students on how to improve their skills in problem solving through the given


Future Researchers: The study is significant and beneficial to future researchers. This

paper will serve as guide to those future researchers who are willing and interested to

continue the study for the purpose of providing additional information and understanding

to those who are concerned.


Definition of terms

In order to facilitate full understanding of the study the following terms are defined

conceptually and operationally.

Academic Performance: It refers to the outcome of education, it is the extent to which a

student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.

In this study, it refers to how students perform in school and how it was affected by their

skills in problem solving.

Age: It refers to entire period of life existence, as of a person or thing.

In this study, it refers to the student’s age categorized from 16-20 years old. It is used as

one of the tool in finding the relationship of the presented topic.

Educational Background of Parents: It refers to a parental characteristic which has been

studied as a variable in predicting a child educational attainment.

In this study, it refers to the educational attainment of parents that is used as a factor in the

student’s academic performance in relation to their problem solving skills. How it affects

the students capability on solving problems.

Problem Solving Skills: It refers to the ability to analyze a situation and determine a course

of action that lead to a workable solution.

In this study, it refers to how students solve problems skillfully and is used as the

independent variable that has a relation in the academic performance of students.


Sex: I t refers to the characteristic structures and functions by which an animal or plant is

classed as male or female.

In this study, it refers to the biological difference between male and female and how it

affects the relationship of problem solving skills and academic performance.

Students: It refers to someone who is learning at a school, or in any teaching environment.

In this study, it refers to someone who is on the learning environment and performs




This chapter involves the systematic identification location and analysis of

documents containing information related to the research problem. This literature will give

the readers insight of their study and help them provide enlightment to the topic under



Van Merrienboer and Jeroen (2013) investigated the perspectives on problem

solving and instruction. It was found that problem solving should not be limited to well-

structured problem solving but be extended to real life problem solving. Tsai et al. (2012)

analyzed visual attention for solving multiple choice math problems. Studies showed that

successful problem solvers focused more on relevant factors while unsuccessful problem

solvers experienced difficulties in decoding the problem, in recognizing the relevant factors

and in self-regulating concentration. Kuo et al. (2012) experimented a hybrid approach to

promoting students web based problem solving competence and learning attitude. Results

show that middle and low achievement students in the experimental group gained

significant benefits from the hybrid approach. Pandey and Manjula (2012) found that the

male and female students and students residing at rural and urban area differ significantly

in their problem solving ability. Darshana (2012) found that emotional intelligence and

home environments have significant impact on the problem solving ability of students.


Bucent Guven, Buket Ozum Cabakor (2013) studied the factors influencing

mathematical problem solving achievement of seventh grade students. This study revealed

the difference between male and female students problem solving achievement is not

statistically significant.

Tingley (2012) conducted a study using Talking Aloud Partner Problem Solving

(TAPPS) which is a teaching learning strategy has increased the speed and effectiveness

of partner problem solving, has little to do with the monitor and much to do with the

problem solvers own behavior. Joanne and Donna (2012) conducted a naturalistic study of

executive function and mathematical problem solving. Students’ progress in problem

solving when they engage in a conscious appraisal of the problem. Rupley, Margaret and

Robert (2012) studied the effects of reading and enhanced word problem solving. Results

stressed that teachers need to think less about students deriving an answer and more in

terms of facilitating student’s application of the cognitive components of reading and

mathematics. Voyer (2011) in the study of performance in mathematical problem solving

as a function of comprehension and arithmetic skills found that pupils who give greater

importance to situational information in a problem have greater success in solving the

problem. Fernandez, Anthony and Koehler (2011) experimented on mathematics teachers

circle around problem solving. Math teacher’s circles were developed with the aim of

establishing a culture of problem solving among middle school mathematics teachers. The

culture could then be carried back into these teachers’ classrooms. According to math

Fluency (2011), education and cognitive scientist agree that the ability to recall basic math

facts fluently is necessary for students to attain higher order math skills. The implication

for mathematics is that some of the sub processes, particularly basic facts, need to be

developed to the point that they are done automatically. If this fluent retrieval does not

develop them the development of higher order mathematics skills- such as multiple- digit

addition and subtraction, long division and fraction- maybe severely impaired. Indeed,

studies have found that lack of math fact retrieval can impede participation in math class

discussions, successful mathematics problem solving, and even the development of

everyday life skills. And rapid math fact retrieval has been shown to be a strong predictor

of performance on mathematics achievement tests.

Romberg (2010) studied Wiltrocks influence on mathematics education.

Instruction should involve the simulation for a student store of relevant background

experiences in relation to information to be learned so that they can construct meaning from

it. Ali (2010) in his study on the effect of using problem solving method in teaching

mathematics on the achievement of mathematics students found that there was significant

difference between the effectiveness of traditional teaching method and problem solving

method in teaching of mathematics at elementary level. The relationship between

mathematical knowledge and problem solving behaviors in the context of solving an

insight geometry problem, posing algebraic problems and calculus exploration was studied

by Boris Koichu (2010). The findings of the study revealed that advanced behaviors were

observed when the student worked within her conceptual – embodied mathematical world,

and less advanced ones when worked within the symbolic and formal axiomatic worlds.

Behare (2009) in his study of problem solving skills in mathematics learning

investigated cognitive skills in solving mathematical problems of learner at the terminal

stage of elementary education. It revealed that those who can verbalize the process of

solution are better at solving problems. Mohanty (2009) studied the effect cognitive and

meta- cognitive strategy instruction on the mathematical problem solving of elementary

school students with learning disabilities. The intervention programme has been found to

have a significant positive effect on the mathematical problem solving of students with

learning disabilities.

Biswajit Behera (2009) studied the problem solving skills in mathematics. The

study revealed that the mean difference between high ability and low groups, between boys

and girls and within each ability group is quiet large. Students with high mathematical

ability are far superior in mathematical problem solving skills to their counter parts in the

lower ability irrespective of their gender. Sakom Pinta et al. (2009) studied the factors

influencing mathematic problem solving ability of sixth grade students. This study revealed

that teacher’s behavior took both direct and indirect effects on the students mathematic

problem solving. The teachers are supposed to study the methods to develop this ability

deeply and then bring them to manage the activities in class that encourage students to be

enthusiastic to learn and have good attitude toward mathematic learning or to get students


Olatoye and Agbatogun (2009) stated that the term “Parental involvement includes

several different forms of participation in education and with schools and that experts in

the field agree about the importance of linkages between families and school. Their study

that investigated the achievement of pupils in the public and private primary school in

mathematics showed that parental involvement is an important predictor of mathematics

achievement. Also, Le Faivre’s (2009) final report stressed that parent involvement in

mathematics and the positive behaviors and skills parents can foster in the home to help

students succeed in problem solving.