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ERIC Number: ED257559
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Strategic Abilities and Instructional Advice in Children's Problem Solving.
Applefield, Pauline F.
This research investigates how individual differences in strategic abilities affect problem solving and, more particularly, the extent to which hypothesis-generating skills predict effective hypothesis testing. Additional questions concerned the effects of content and timing of instructional advice on children's problem-solving strategies, and possible differential effects of such advice for children with varying hypothesis-generating skills. A total of 80 children 7 and 8 years of age worked four sets of alphabet transformation problems. Sufficient information resources were available to enable solution of all problems. In addition to general instructions and encouragement given to all subjects, three levels of instructional advice were provided, which varied according to the problem-solving stage at which advice was given and the specific relevance of the information. Results confirmed that, compared to other subjects, children initially able to generate viable hypotheses were more efficient in obtaining and applying information necessary to solve the problems. Problem-solving ability improved both when diagnostic advice followed an incorrect solution attempt and when directions for obtaining crucial information preceded a solution attempt. Children's subsequent problem-solving efficiency was improved by earlier advice. Advice was especially beneficial for children who showed initial strategic skills. These and other results are interpreted as supporting the trainability of intellectual skill components of inductive reasoning. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A