Defining "Problem Solving"
Date: 07/30/2007 at 15:21:11 From: Blake Subject: Definition Is there a clear definition for problem solving? Do you know all the different strategies for problem solving?
Date: 07/30/2007 at 15:57:10 From: Doctor Ian Subject: Re: Definition Hi Blake, It's not a clear concept, which is probably why you're having trouble finding a clear definition. Really, the definition of "problem solving" is "solving a problem". So you need to get definitions for "solve" and "problem". A problem, most generally defined, is a situation that you wish was different than it is! For example, suppose your car has a flat tire, and you wish that it didn't have one. That's a "problem". Problems can range from very, very large in scope ("There is a lot of fighting in the Middle East. We wish that would stop.") to very, very small in scope ("If I add 13 and 29, I get some result. I wish I knew what that is."). But they're all problems. What does it mean to "solve" a problem? It means you find some set of steps that, when followed, takes you from the situation you have to the situation you want. Mostly in math, when we talk about "problems", as opposed to just "calculations", we mean that you're supposed to have to figure out which steps to do, and in what order, without relying on a formula or recipe. For example: John is visiting his father's farm. There are goats and chickens in the barnyard. He counts 20 heads, and 32 legs. How many chickens are there, and how many goats? If you've never seen this kind of thing before, you have to do some reasoning about how you can use the information you're given to find the answer you're asked for. When you can do that, you've "solved" the "problem". Does this answer your question? - Doctor Ian, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 07/30/2007 at 22:47:33 From: Blake Subject: Thank you (Definition) Thank you! I get it. Blake
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