Public Release: 

Puzzle solving in school-level mathematics studied in cross-regional project

The research is a joint effort by Kazan Federal University, Vyatka State University, RUDN University, and Financial University under the Government of Russia.

Kazan Federal University

"Nowadays, it's pertinent to seek new instruments to develop children through mathematical means. One of such instruments is a puzzle," says co-author Nadezhda Telegina.

The research in question comprises three stages. The first one was to study the current state of theoretical and practical aspects of puzzle use in basic education. The second stage included the creation of didactic methodology of using puzzles in school and extracurricular activities.

Dr. Telegina explains, "During the third stage, we conduct test mathematics lessons in 5th and 6th grades and extracurricular math activities in 3rd - 6th grades of the 21st Lyceum in Kirov (over 120 pupils have attended test lessons since 2012). Apart from that, some educational courses have been implemented at summer training camps since 2009."

The research has proven that pupils who engage in puzzle solving consistently show higher aptitude in IQ tests. As a s result, a number of recommendations appeared considering the inclusion of puzzles into various types of teaching activities. They can potentially boost logical and abstract thinking, combinatorial and spatial skills, and mathematical memory.

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