IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Discovery learning in math: Exercises versus problems


  • Barry Garelick



In this article, Garelick confronts the myth perpetrated in education schools that math is incorrectly taught by teaching students to do "exercises" rather than solving "problems". The former are viewed as inauthentic experiences in which the student applies algorithms to previously learned types of problems in a mechanical type way. In fact, it is through the working of the so-called "exercises" that students can make meaningful discoveries which ultimately lead them to solving more complex problems. As it is, many of today's math programs have students reaching for the stars by standing on a two-legged stool.

Suggested Citation

  • Barry Garelick, 2009. "Discovery learning in math: Exercises versus problems," Nonpartisan Education Review, Nonpartisan Education Review, vol. 5(2), pages 1-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:teg:journl:v:5:y:2009:i:2:p:1-17

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eitle, David & Gunkel, Steven & Van Gundy, Karen, 2004. "Cumulative exposure to stressful life events and male gang membership," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 95-111.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    education; policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:teg:journl:v:5:y:2009:i:2:p:1-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard P. Phelps). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.