Toward a Unified Theory of Problem Solving: Views from the Content Domains

By Mike U. Smith | Go to book overview

well do they meet the criteria outlined earlier?

The second direction for research that is clearly implied by these propositions is a more careful attention to the distinctions between expertise and success. Since no one can become an expert in all the domains in which he needs to adequately solve problems, what are the characteristics of good problem solvers who are no highly experienced professionals (experts)? A correlate of this issue is the nature of expertise. A recent study that compared genetic counselors and genetics faculty ( Smith, 1988) suggests that some of our understanding of expertise is perhaps applicable only to educators in the domain of interest. Similar studies of other noneducator experts should be conducted.

A third direction for future research is a greater emphasis on the issues of the development and teaching of problem-solving skills. The absence of propositions relating to these issues from the statements above is conspicuous.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

This chapter is based in part on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. MDR 8609356.


REFERENCES

Bodner, G. M., Carter, C. S., & Bowen, C. ( 1988, April). Toward a unified theory of problem solving: A view from chemistry. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Cassels, J. R.T., & Johnstone, A. H. ( 1984). "The effect of language on student performance on multiple choice tests in chemistry". Journal of Chemical Education, 61, 613- 615.

Chi, M. T.H., Feltovitch, P. J., & Glaser, R. ( 1981). "Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices". Cognitive Science, 5. 121-152.

Davis, R. B. ( 1985). Solving the "three switch" problem: A case study. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 4. 281-291.

deGroot, A. D., ( 1965). Thought and choice in chess. The Hague: Mouton.

Falls, T. H., & Voss, B. ( 1985, April). The ability of high school chemistry students to solve computational problem requiring proportional reasoning as affected by item in-task variables. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, French Lick Springs, IN.

Gabel, D. L., & Sherwood, R. D. ( 1984). "Analyzing difficulties with mole-concept tasks by using familiar analog tasks". Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21, 843- 851.

Hayes, J. ( 1980). The complete problem solver. Philadelphia: The Franklin Institute Press.

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Toward a Unified Theory of Problem Solving: Views from the Content Domains
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Preface *
  • 1 - A View from Biology 1
  • Acknowledgment 17
  • References 17
  • 2 - A View from Chemistry 21
  • References 32
  • 3 - A View from Medicine 35
  • References 43
  • 4 - A View from Programming 45
  • Acknowledgements 63
  • References 63
  • 5 - A View of Mathematical Problem Solving in School 69
  • Acknowledgements 95
  • References 95
  • 6 - A View from Physics 99
  • References 113
  • 7 - A View from Trouble-Shooting 115
  • References 148
  • Author Index 155
  • Subject Index 161
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