The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Common Sense and Word Problems

Gohar Marikyan, Empire State University of SUNY (United States)


There is research done on how students learn mathematics, and how to teach them to solve problems. There are attempts how to teach mathematics using common sense. Such a methodology can be effective to teach mathematics to pre-K, K, and elementary school children using their naturally existing common sense. Can this methodology be used to teach mathematics to adult learners? My research shows that some adults do not use their common sense in learning mathematics. Therefore, a similar methodology cannot be equally effective in teaching mathematics to that population of adult learners. This raises a few questions. How to teach introductory mathematics to adult students who do not use their common sense in learning mathematics? This can be summarized as a more general question. Do we use common sense to teach mathematics, or do we use mathematics to teach to use common sense? Moreover, can we use mathematics to develop analytical thinking? My conclusion is that one of the purposes of teaching introductory mathematics should be teaching students to use their common sense in solving problems. The habitual use of common sense will lead to the development of logical thinking. The net effect of such methodology will be the habitual use of their analytical thinking in solving all kinds of problems in mathematics, business, life, etc.



Learning mathematics, common sense, adult learners, solving word problems.



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9.         Marikyan, Gohar. 2013. “The Interrelation between Mathematical Logic, Math Education, and its History.” All About Mentoring 44: 57–60.

10.       Marikyan, Gohar. 2013. “Development of Logical Think among Students.” In ATINER's Conference Paper Series, No. MAT2013-0474, pp. 5–10.

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15.       WikiHow. 2016. How to Develop Common Sense.


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