How Children Discover New Strategies

How Children Discover New Strategies

How Children Discover New Strategies

How Children Discover New Strategies

Synopsis

This well-documented book divides the process of constructing new problem-solving strategies into two parts: discovery of the new strategy, and its generalization to new contexts. By using a trial-by-trial analysis, the authors are able to identify the exact trial on which the new strategy is first used, the circumstances that lead to the discovery, and the generalization of the strategy beyond its initial use. These observations disconfirm popular stereotypes of the discovery process and provide important insights into the nature of long-term learning and strategy discovery.

Excerpt

In October of 1987 I received a phone call from Jeff Bisanz inviting me to present the 14th Annual MacEachran Lectures at the University of Alberta. Illustrious predecessors, freedom to pursue any set of issues, and an attentive audience were among the attractions he cited. The opportunity seemed too good to pass up.

In October of 1988, almost exactly I year later, I spent a most enjoyable week in Edmonton presenting a series of three lectures. What made the experience so enjoyable was not only the exceptional warmth and hospitality that I was shown, but also the remarkable prior preparation of so many members of the intellectual community. People had read, thought about, and discussed my work, so that they were deeply knowledgeable about it even before I came. This allowed me to cover basic background material quickly and to focus on the questions and issues that were in the forefront of my own thinking. It was an altogether rare experience and one to be savored.

In our initial conversation, Jeff suggested that I might wish to talk about the recent work that Eric Jenkins and I were doing on how children discover new strategies. In the previous 5 years, my research had focused on how children choose among strategies that they . . .

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