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the science of problem solving

Dec 14,  · Problem solving forms part of thinking. It occurs if an organism or an artificial intelligence system does not know how to proceed from a given state to a desired goal state. It is part of the. Problem Solving (Awesome Library) Problem Solving lesson plans are in "Multidisciplinary" in the "Lessons and Curricula" of the Awesome Library. Questioning - Tools for Questioning (From Now On) The Questioning Toolkit provides different kinds of questions, along with tools to answer those questions. Apr 11,  · "Problem solving is part craft and part science, " Dhaliwal says, a type of "matching exercise. To get a sense of Dhaliwal’s approach, I once watched him solve a perplexing Ulrich Boser.

Teaching Creativity and Inventive Problem Solving in Science

Engaging learners in the excitement of science, helping them discover the value of evidence-based reasoning and higher-order cognitive skills, and teaching them to become creative problem solvers have long been goals of science education reformers. But the means to achieve these goals, especially methods to promote creative thinking in scientific problem solving, have not become widely known or used. In this essay, I review the evidence that creativity is not a single hard-to-measure property.

The creative process can be explained by reference to increasingly well-understood cognitive skills such as cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control that are widely distributed in the population.

I explore the relationship between creativity and the higher-order cognitive skills, review assessment methods, and describe several instructional strategies for enhancing creative problem solving in the college classroom.

Evidence suggests that instruction to support the development of creativity requires inquiry-based teaching that includes explicit strategies to promote cognitive flexibility. Students need to be repeatedly reminded and shown how to be creative, to integrate material across subject areas, to question their own assumptions, and to imagine other viewpoints and possibilities.

Further research is required to determine whether college students' learning will be enhanced by these measures. Members of each team of four students have primed themselves on the topic by reading selected the science of problem solving from accessible sources such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American, and searching the World Wide Web, triangulating for up-to-date, accurate, background information, the science of problem solving.

Each team knows that their first goal is to define a set of problems or limitations to overcome within the topic and to the science of problem solving to think of possible solutions. Dunne starts the conversation by reminding the group of the few ground rules: one speaker at a time, listen carefully and have respect for others' ideas, question your own and others' assumptions, the science of problem solving, focus on alternative paths or solutions, maintain an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual support.

He then sparks the discussion by asking one of the teams to describe a problem in need of solution. Science in the United States is widely credited as a major source of discovery and economic development.

For many decades, science education reformers have promoted the idea that learners should be engaged in the excitement of science; they should be helped to discover the value of evidence-based reasoning and higher-order cognitive skills, and be taught to become innovative problem solvers for reviews, see DeHaan, ; Hake, ; Nelson, ; Perkins and Wieman, But the means to achieve these goals, especially methods to promote creative thinking in scientific problem solving, are not widely known or used.

An invention session such as that led by the fictional Dr. Dunne, described above, may seem fanciful as a means of teaching students to think about science as something more than a body of facts and terms to memorize. In recent years, however, models for promoting creative problem solving were developed for classroom use, as detailed by Treffinger and Isaksenand such techniques are often used in the real world of high technology.

To promote imaginative thinking, the advertising executive Alex F. Osborn invented brainstorming Osborn, the science of problem solving, a technique that has since been successful in stimulating inventiveness among engineers and scientists, the science of problem solving. Could such strategies be transferred to a class for college students? Could they serve as a supplement to a high-quality, scientific teaching curriculum that helps students learn the facts and conceptual frameworks of the science of problem solving and make progress along the novice—expert continuum?

Could brainstorming or other instructional strategies that are specifically designed to promote creativity teach the science of problem solving to be more adaptive in their growing expertise, more innovative in their problem-solving abilities? How to define creativity is an age-old question. But this is not an adequate criterion for developing an instructional approach.

This is what Kaufman and Beghetto call big-C creativity, borrowing the term that earlier workers applied to the talents of experts in various fields who were identified as particularly creative by their expert colleagues MacKinnon, In this sense, creativity is seen as the ability of individuals to generate new ideas that contribute substantially to an intellectual domain.

In this essay, I maintain that mini-c creativity is not a mysterious, innate endowment of rare individuals. Instead, I the science of problem solving that creative thinking is a multicomponent process, the science of problem solving, mediated through social interactions, that can be explained by reference to increasingly well-understood mental abilities such as cognitive flexibility and cognitive control that are widely distributed in the population.

Moreover, I explore some of the recent research evidence though with no effort at a comprehensive literature review showing that these mental abilities are teachable; like other higher-order cognitive skills HOCSthey can be enhanced by explicit instruction.

Efforts to define creativity in psychological terms go back to J. Guilford Guilford, and E. Torrance Torrance,both of whom recognized that underlying the construct were other cognitive variables such as ideational fluency, originality of ideas, and sensitivity to missing elements.

Many authors since then have extended the argument that a creative act is not a singular event but a process, an interplay among several interactive cognitive and affective elements.

In this view, the creative act has two phases, a generative and an exploratory or evaluative phase Finke et al. During the generative process, the science of problem solving, the creative mind pictures a set of novel mental models as potential solutions to a problem. In the exploratory phase, we evaluate the multiple options and select the best one. Early scholars of creativity, such as J.

Guilford, characterized the two phases as divergent thinking and convergent thinking Guilford, Guilford defined divergent thinking as the ability to produce a broad range of associations to a given stimulus or to arrive at many solutions to a problem for overviews of the field from different perspectives, see Amabile, ; Banaji et al.

In neurocognitive terms, divergent thinking is referred to as associative richness Gabora, ; Simonton,which is often measured experimentally by comparing the number of words that an individual generates from memory in response to stimulus words on a word association test. In contrast, convergent thinking refers to the capacity to quickly focus on the one best solution to a problem. The idea that there are two stages to the creative process is consistent with results from cognition research indicating that there are two distinct modes of thought, associative and analytical Neisser, ; Sloman, In the associative mode, thinking is defocused, suggestive, and intuitive, revealing remote or subtle connections between items that may be correlated, or may not, and are usually not causally related Burton, In the analytical mode, thought is focused and evaluative, more conducive to analyzing relationships of cause and effect for a review of other cognitive aspects of creativity, see Runco, Science educators associate the analytical mode with the upper levels analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of Bloom's taxonomy e.

These modes of thinking are under cognitive control through the executive functions of the brain. The core executive functions, which are thought to underlie all planning, problem solving, and reasoning, are defined Blair and Razza, as working memory control mentally holding and retrieving informationcognitive flexibility considering multiple ideas and seeing different perspectivesand inhibitory control resisting several thoughts or actions to focus on one.

Readers wishing to delve further into the neuroscience of the creative process can refer to the cerebrocerebellar theory of creativity Vandervert et al.

The main point from all of these works is that creativity is not some single hard-to-measure property or act. There is ample evidence that the creative process requires both divergent and convergent thinking and that it can be explained by reference to increasingly well-understood underlying mental abilities Haring-Smith, ; Kim, ; Sawyer, ; Kaufman and Sternberg, and cognitive processes Simonton, ; Diamond et al.

Although it is understandable to speak of an aha moment as a creative act by the person who experiences it, the science of problem solving, authorities in the field have long recognized e.

Indeed, Osborn introduced his brainstorming method because he was convinced that group creativity is always superior to individual creativity. He drew evidence for this conclusion from activities that demand collaborative output, for example, the improvisations of a jazz ensemble. Recently, Brophy offered evidence that for problem solving, the situation may be more nuanced. He confirmed that groups of interacting individuals were better at solving complex, multipart problems than single individuals.

However, when dealing with certain kinds of single-issue problems, individual problem solvers produced a greater number of solutions than interacting groups, and those solutions were judged to be more original and useful. Consistent with the findings of Brophymany scholars acknowledge that creative discoveries in the real world such as solving the problems of cutting-edge science—which are usually complex and multipart—are influenced or even stimulated by social interaction among experts.

The common image of the lone scientist in the laboratory experiencing a flash of creative inspiration is probably a myth from earlier days. As a case in point, the science historian Mara Beller analyzed the social processes that underlay some of the major discoveries the science of problem solving early twentieth-century quantum physics. Close examination of successive drafts of publications by members of the Copenhagen group revealed a remarkable degree of influence and collaboration among 10 or more colleagues, although many of these papers were published under the name of a single author Beller, Sociologists Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar's study Latour and Woolgar, of a neuroendocrinology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies make the related point that social interactions among the participating scientists determined to a remarkable degree what discoveries were made and how they were interpreted.

In the laboratory, researchers studied the chemical structure of substances released by the brain. By analysis of the Salk scientists' verbalizations of concepts, theories, formulas, and results of their investigations, Latour and Woolgar showed that the structures and interpretations that were agreed upon, that is, the discoveries announced by the laboratory, were mediated by social interactions and power relationships among members of the laboratory group.

By studying the discovery process in other fields of the natural sciences, sociologists and anthropologists have provided more cases that further illustrate how social and cultural dimensions affect scientific insights for a thoughtful review, see Knorr Cetina, In sum, when an individual experiences an aha moment that feels like a singular creative act, it may rather have resulted from a multicomponent process, under the influence of group interactions and social context.

The process that led up to what may be sensed as a sudden insight will probably have included at least three diverse, but testable elements: 1 divergent thinking, including ideational fluency or cognitive flexibility, which is the cognitive executive function that underlies the ability to visualize and accept many ideas related to a problem; 2 convergent thinking or the application of inhibitory control to focus and mentally evaluate ideas; and 3 analogical thinking, the ability to understand a novel idea in terms of one that is already familiar.

Since that time, educators and psychologists have devised programs of instruction designed to promote creativity and inventiveness in virtually every student population: pre—K, the science of problem solving, elementary, high school, and college, as well as in disadvantaged students, athletes, and students in a variety of specific disciplines the science of problem solving review, see Scott et al.

Smith identified instructional approaches that have been applied at one time or another to develop divergent thinking skills. Some of the most convincing evidence that elements of creativity can be enhanced by instruction comes from work with young children. Bodrova and Leong developed the Tools of the Mind Tools curriculum to improve all of the three core mental executive functions involved in creative problem solving: cognitive flexibility, working memory, the science of problem solving, and inhibitory control.

In a year-long randomized study of 5-yr-olds from low-income families in 21 preschool classrooms, half of the teachers applied the districts' balanced literacy curriculum literacywhereas the experimenters trained the other half to teach the same academic content by using the Tools curriculum Diamond et al.

At the end of the year, when the children were tested with a battery of neurocognitive tests including a test for cognitive flexibility Durston et al. Teaching older students to be innovative also demands instruction that explicitly promotes creativity but is rigorously content-rich as well. A large body of research on the differences between novice and expert cognition indicates that creative thinking requires at least a minimal level of expertise and fluency within a knowledge domain Bransford et al.

What distinguishes experts from novices, in addition to their deeper knowledge of the subject, is their recognition of patterns in information, their ability to see relationships among disparate facts and concepts, and their capacity for organizing content into conceptual frameworks or schemata Bransford et al.

Such the science of problem solving is often lacking in the traditional classroom. For students the science of problem solving to grapple with new subject matter, many kinds of problems that are presented in high school or college courses or that arise in the real world can be solved merely by applying newly learned algorithms or procedural knowledge.

But beyond such routine use of content knowledge the instructor's goal must be to produce students who have gained the HOCS needed to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate knowledge Crowe et al. The aim is to produce students who know enough about a field to grasp meaningful patterns of information, the science of problem solving, who can readily retrieve relevant knowledge from memory, and who can apply such knowledge effectively to novel problems.

This condition is referred to as adaptive expertise Hatano and The science of problem solving, ; Schwartz et al. Instead of applying already mastered procedures, adaptive experts are able to draw on their knowledge to invent or adapt strategies for the science of problem solving unique or novel problems within a knowledge domain. They are also able, ideally, to transfer conceptual frameworks and schemata from one domain to another e.

Such flexible, innovative application of knowledge is what results in inventive or creative solutions to problems Crawford and Brophy, ; Crawford, In most college courses, instructors teach science primarily through lectures and textbooks that are dominated by facts and algorithmic processing rather than by concepts, principles, and evidence-based ways of thinking.

This is despite ample evidence that many students gain little new knowledge from traditional lectures Hrepic et al. Moreover, it is well documented that these methods engender passive learning rather than active engagement, boredom instead of intellectual excitement, and linear thinking rather than cognitive flexibility e. Cognitive flexibility, as noted, is one of the three core mental executive functions involved in creative problem solving Ausubel, Especially when a knowledge domain is complex and fraught with ill-structured information, the science of problem solving, as in a typical introductory college biology course, instruction that emphasizes active-learning strategies is demonstrably more effective than traditional linear teaching in reducing failure rates and in promoting learning and transfer e.

Furthermore, there is already some evidence that inclusion of creativity training as part of a college curriculum can have positive effects. Hunsaker has reviewed a number of such studies. He cites work by McGregorfor example, showing that various creativity training programs including brainstorming and creative problem solving increase student scores on tests of creative-thinking abilities.

What explicit instructional strategies are available to promote creative problem solving? One method, known as heuristic ideation, encourages participants to force together two unrelated concepts to discover novel relationships, a modern version of Koestler's bisociation Koestler, Among them, the following techniques might apply to a science classroom:. Model creativity—students develop creativity when instructors model creative thinking and inventiveness.

Repeatedly encourage idea generation—students need to be reminded to generate their own ideas and solutions in an environment free of criticism. Cross-fertilize ideas—where possible, avoid teaching in subject-area boxes: a math box, a social studies box, etc; students' creative ideas and insights often result from learning to integrate material across subject areas. Build self-efficacy—all students have the capacity to create and to experience the joy of having new ideas, but they must be helped to believe in their own capacity to be creative.


The Science of Problem Solving ·


the science of problem solving


A Computational Model of Problem Solving. Problem solving can be understood as a search problem. You start in some state, there’s a set of neighbor states you can move to, and a final state that you would like to end up in. Say you’re Ted Bundy. It’s midnight and you’re prowling around. You’re struck by a sudden urge to kill a woman. Promoting Creative Problem Solving in the College Classroom. In most college courses, instructors teach science primarily through lectures and textbooks that are dominated by facts and algorithmic processing rather than by concepts, principles, and evidence-based ways of by: Dec 14,  · Problem solving forms part of thinking. It occurs if an organism or an artificial intelligence system does not know how to proceed from a given state to a desired goal state. It is part of the.