Structural Understanding in Problem Solving. Specifying and Instructing Cognitive Objectives in Basic Electricity.
Progress rept. no. 1,
CALIFORNIA UNIV SAN DIEGO LA JOLLA INST FOR COGNITIVE SCIENCE
Pagination or Media Count:
A common instructional objective in domains of math and science is the capability to use formulas and arithmetic procedures to solve problems. Although students are explicitly taught the relevant formulas and principles, are shown worked-out examples, and are given practice, they frequently experience considerable difficulty when asked to solve similar problems. Previous research suggested that difficulties often result from mechanical application of rules and formulas with little understanding of important structural relations between the elements in the problem domain. The objective of this research is to analyze in greater detail what is meant by structural understanding within the domain of basic electricity, the role this understanding plays in performance and learning, and the extent to which important structural relations can be taught more directly. Research has involved 1 empirical studies of the knowledge students acquire and fail to acquire both from the Navys Basic Electricity and Electronics BEE course material and from alternative instructional materials and 2 theoretical analyses in the form of computer simulation models that represent detailed hypotheses about the knowledge underlying students performance and learning.
- Electricity and Magnetism