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

By Mike U. Smith | Go to book overview

ability to operate in areas where one has little experience. The wise expert recognizes that this lack of experience imposes a major handicap, but there is a big difference between having the ability to operate as an expert on the one hand and possessing a kind of reflective knowledge of one's repertoire of strategies on the other. In the latter case, it is possible to deliberately apply the strategies to novel situations, keeping in mind that without extensive experience one's judgment will be hampered. Creative leaps, however, do not require this kind of judgment, and may in fact be hindered by it. There are examples in the history of science (such as Einstein's original work leading to special relativity) where great creative advances were made even though (or perhaps because) the scientist did not "know too much" in the domain.

Well short of work at the creative level of Einstein's work, one can still ask whether the problem-solving skills of expert physicists are potentially useful in other domains. One way to answer this question is to point to the physicists who have made great contributions in other fields. A second question is whether some of the skills of physicists can usefully be taught to novices (in physics and in other fields) to help these novices become good problem solvers. Based on the evidence from the examples described in this chapter, we would answer "yes," with the proviso that such teaching must be accompanied by training in systematic selfreflection on one's thinking and problem solving. We have offered several generauable abilities, along with examples of ways to teach them. We hope these will point a way toward the construction of a unified theory.


REFERENCES

Brown, D., & Clement, J. ( 1987, April). Overcoming misconceptions in mechanics: a comparison of two example-based teaching strategies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.

Champagne, A., Gunstone, R., & Klopfer, L. ( 1983, May). A perspective on the differences between expert and novice performance in solving physics problems. Paper presented at the meeting of the Australian Science Education Research Association, Sydney, Australia.

Clement, J. ( 1987). "Overcoming students' misconceptions in physics: The role of anchoring intuitions and analogical validity". Proceedings of the Second International Seminar on Misconceptions and Educational Strategies in Science and Mathematics, (Vol. 3, pp. 84-97). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.

Clement, J. (in press). "Observed methods for generating analogies in scientific problem solving". Cognitive Science.

Leyden, M. G. ( 1984). "You graduate more criminals than scientists". The Science Teacher, 51( 3), 26-30.

Mestre, J., Dufresne, R., Gerace, W., Hardiman, P., & Touger, J. ( 1988). Promoting expertlike behavior among beginning physics students (Technical Report No. 178). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, Scientific Reasoning Research Institute, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

-113-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
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
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 164

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.