Whenever a living creature has a goal but doesn’t know how to accomplish it, they engage in problem solving. (Holyoak & Morrison, 2005) Problem solving is considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, as a higher-order cognitive process that requires activation and control of more routine or fundamental skills in order to solve the problem at hand. (Goldstein & Levin, 1987) There are a number of methods for problem solving, including:
- Difference reduction, in which we keep reducing the distance between the current state and the goal step by step;
- Means-end analysis, where we work backwards from end goal and set sub goals; and
- Analogy strategy, where we find similar problems we have solved with pervious strategies and try those same strategies on the new problem.
This is just a basic list; there are many other problem-solving methodolgies. So, how can we set up our learners to succeed?
Conditions under which Learners might Demonstrate Good Problem Solving
Gestalt psychologists have outlined a number of features that make problem solving more difficult, they are as follows: (Holyoak & Morrison, 2005) (more…)