ERIC Number: ED295795
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Toward a Unified Theory of Problem Solving: A View from Physics.
Schultz, Klaus; Lochhead, Jack
Comparisons of expert and novice problem solving in physics have helped characterize some of the key features of expert behavior. There is considerable debate, however, as to whether these characteristics are specific to the field of expertise (physics) or exportable to other fields. While the question seems difficult to answer in general, at least three skills frequently observed in physics "experts" seem to have broad application to a variety of fields. However, the transfer to other fields may require a more deliberate and conscious awareness of the use of these skills than normally accompanies the acquisition of expertise in physics. This paper defines "novice" and expert and describes the strategies employed by each in a problem solving situation. The performance of experts is described in detail including the choice of appropriate principles, the use of chains of analogies and the ability to transfer previous knowledge to areas of little experience. (CW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988). Some pages with small print may not reproduce well.