Accession Number:

ADA214776

Title:

Structural Understanding in Problem Solving

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

CALIFORNIA UNIV SAN DIEGO LA JOLLA DEPT OF COGNITIVE SCIENCE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1989-10-23

Pagination or Media Count:

7.0

Abstract:

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 principals, are shown worked-out examples, and are given practice, they frequently experience considerable difficulty when asked to solve similar problems. Previous research suggests that difficulties often result from mechanical application of rules and formulas with little understanding of important structural relations between elements in the problem domain. The objective of this research was 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. The research involved a theoretical analyses that represent detailed hypotheses about the knowledge underlying performance in this domain and b empirical studies involving the collection of verbal protocols from subjects as they learn to solve basic electricity problems under different instructional treatments. KR

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE