Problem Solving (Education)

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  • The process of applying knowledge and skills to create new solutions to problems. Although problem solving is developmental in nature, there is substantial evidence that problem solving skills can be taught. Developmentally speaking, maturational and experiential processes combine to increase problem-solving capacity and success. The development of increasingly sophisticated strategy use, mental representation (e.g., language, maps), and cognitive self-regulation, for example, permits 14-year-olds to have far more problem-solving tools to draw on for successful problem solving than 6-year-olds.

    Teaching problem solving is clearly a major educational goal. Bransford and Stein, in their 1984 book, The IDEAL Problem Solver, promote teaching of the process of general problem solving, using IDEAL (identify, define, explore, act, look) as a means to improve problem solving. Other teachable strategies include employing ...

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