ERIC Number: EJ1177315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Intuition and Problem Solving
Nelissen, Jo M. C.
Curriculum and Teaching, v28 n2 p27-44 2013
The focus of this article is a theoretical discussion and analysis of the concept of intuition. The article investigates how intuition, in the psychological sense, is connected with concepts like problem-solving, reflective thinking, automatized thinking activities and understanding 'gestalt' or structure and meaning. Automatisms are based on insights and knowledge stored in (long term) memory. Intuitive thinking, however, is connected with experimenting, exploring new strategies and searching for new, non-conventional ways of thinking. Through intuition we become more aware of structures and through reflective analyses these structures may grow into explicit structures. Reflections on elaboration of thinking rules and strategies may be internalized and transformed in intuitions. When we look at the process of intuition we are confronted with quick, tacit, spontaneous, more or less subconscious processes evolving mostly independent of reasoning (logic). If, however, we consider the "structure" (origin) of intuition we can characterize intuition as being connected with all the knowledge the subject ever learned. Now, intuition is "not" operating independent of learning (logic), it is associated especially with meaningful coherence. Once a problem is solved on the basis of exploring intuitions, it is useful to reconsider intuitions critically. If the intuitions were successful, they may be integrated in the existing body of knowledge. So, intuition and the construction of knowledge can be conceived as complementary processes.
Descriptors: Intuition, Problem Solving, Reflection, Thinking Skills, Knowledge Level, Young Children, Mathematics, Sciences
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