ERIC Number: ED343952
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Use of Domain-Specific Knowledge and Domain-General Strategies in Novel Problem Solving.
English, Lyn D.
Seventy-two Australian children aged from 4 years 6 months to 9 years 10 months were individually administered a set of six combinatorial problems involving the dressing of toy bears in all possible combinations of clothing items. Six age groups were represented: eight children were in each of the 4, 5, and 6 year categories; and 16 children were in each of the 7, 8, and 9 year categories. Because the problem domain was novel, children had to use their existing general strategies to help them solve the problems. A series of increasingly sophisticated solution strategies (reflecting a knowledge of the combinatorial domain), plus several scanning actions serving primarily in a monitoring capacity (reflecting an application of general strategies) were found. Significant associations existed between children's solution strategies and their scanning actions on each problem; the children changing the nature of their scanning as they adopted more complex solution strategies. The nature of this association was a key factor in problem success, especially when there was an additional constraint on goal attainment. The results are examined concerning changes in children's principled knowledge base and in the nature of their general strategies. Cases involving problem failure in the face of sophisticated domain knowledge highlight the importance of children applying the appropriate domain-general strategies in both novel and routine problem solving. Four tables present study findings, and there is a 53-item list of references. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Australian Research Council.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Domain Knowledge; Domain Specific Thinking; Scanning; Strategy Choice
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).