Problem-solving skills are often identified as a key component of 21st century education. This study collected data from students enrolled in a university-level Liberal Education science course called Problems and Puzzles, which introduced students to the theory and practice of problem solving via puzzles. Based on classroom observation and other qualitative data collected over three semesters, we have identified three significant changes in student behaviour at specific points in the course. These changes can be posited to reveal three underlying threshold concepts in the evolution and establishment of students' problem-solving skills.
Shelly Wismath is a Professor at University of Lethbridge in the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Liberal Education Program.
Doug Orr is the Teaching Development Coordinator for the University of Lethbridge Teaching Centre.
D. Bruce MacKay is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Liberal Education Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Lethbridge.
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