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Cognition and Instruction
written by Joan I. Heller and Frederick Reif
A theoretical model specifying the underlying knowledge and procedures whereby human subjects can generate effective initial descriptions of scientific problems was formulated. The model is prescriptive since it does not necessarily try to simulate the behavior of actual experts nor assume that their performance is optimal. The model, elaborated in the domain of mechanics, specifies explicit procedures for redescribing problems in terms of a relevant knowledge base. To test the model, carefully controlled experiments were devised where human subjects were induced to act in accordance with alternative models and where their resulting performance was observed in detail. Such experiments, carried out with undergraduate physics students, showed that the proposed model is sufficient to generate excellent problem descriptions, that these markedly improve subsequent problem solutions, and that most components of the model are indeed necessary for good performance. Detailed data analysis also showed how the model predictably prevents the occurrence of many common errors. Such a validated model of effective problem description provides a useful basis for teaching students improved scientific problem-solving skills.
Cognition and Instruction: Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 177-216
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Problem Solving
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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application/pdf
non-digital
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Available by subscription
Restriction:
© 1984 JStor
Additional information is available.
Accession Number:
37663603
DOI:
10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2
ISSN Number:
07370008
Keywords:
Cognitive Processes, Mechanics (Physics), Models, Problem Solving, Student Behavior, problem description
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created July 13, 2005 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
September 23, 2007 by Lyle Barbato
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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Heller and F. Reif, Cog. Instr. 1 (2), 177 (1984), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Heller and F. Reif, Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics, Cog. Instr. 1 (2), 177 (1984), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2>.
APA Format
Heller, J., & Reif, F. (1984). Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics. Cog. Instr., 1(2), 177-216. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2
Chicago Format
Heller, Joan I., and Frederick Reif. "Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics." Cog. Instr. 1, no. 2, (1984): 177-216, http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2 (accessed 25 October 2014).
MLA Format
Heller, Joan I., and Frederick Reif. "Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics." Cog. Instr. 1.2 (1984): 177-216. 25 Oct. 2014 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Joan I. Heller and Frederick Reif", Title = {Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics}, Journal = {Cog. Instr.}, Volume = {1}, Number = {2}, Pages = {177-216}, Year = {1984} }
Refer Export Format

%A Joan I. Heller
%A Frederick Reif
%T Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics
%J Cog. Instr.
%V 1
%N 2
%D 1984
%P 177-216
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Heller, Joan I.
%A Reif, Frederick
%D 1984
%T Prescribing effective human problem solving processes: Problem description in physics
%J Cog. Instr.
%V 1
%N 2
%P 177-216
%@ 07370008
%M 37663603
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532690xci0102_2


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