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The main purpose of this research is to examine the problem solving processes of prospective elementary mathematics teachers and to identify how the problem solving instruction affects prospective teachers’ problem solving processes. It is also aimed to investigate the prospective teachers’ opinions about problem solving process and problem solving instruction. This qualitative study was conducted with the participation of 36 prospective elementary mathematics teachers enrolled in an elective course entitled as Problem solving in 2016-2017 academic year. At the beginning and at the end of the semester, prospective mathematics teachers were asked to pose and solve a problem. At the end of the problem solving course, interviews were conducted with seven prospective mathematics teachers. Descriptive analysis method was used for data analysis. The results of the research showed that before the problem solving course, prospective mathematics teachers did not follow problem solving steps and solved the problems they wrote by using equations. After the problem solving course, they have begun to apply the problem solving steps and strategies explained to them during the lessons. It was also determined that prospective teachers had positive opinions about problem solving instruction. Similarly, prospective mathematics teachers stated that problem solving course has enabled a lot of experience and valuable knowledge which would be useful to them in profession of teaching and increased their success and self-confidence.

Problem solving process, problem solving instruction, prospective teacher

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