Week 10
Home Up Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6-Test 1 Week 7 Week 8 BROCHURES Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14--Test 2 Week 15 Week 16 Final Exam


Problem Solving
Belief Allocation
Learning Strategies
Logic Errors (A - W)
de Bono

Under Construction--


(Chapter 8) --Thinking

Download notes 2010






Vague Assignments

(and problem solving)

Earlier you were asked to choose some academic problems and decide where they might fit in the information processing model. It was tricky because you needed to define the problem more precisely. For example, if you had picked "Spelling" as a problem you would have some difficulty trying to fit it into the model. You needed to define the problem as: (1) a hearing problem, (2) a listening problem, (3) a phonological processing problem, (4) a sound-symbol mapping problem, (5) a visual memory problem, (6) a sequencing problem, (7) a short term memory capacity problem, (8) a long term memory access problem, (9) a metacognitive problem, and so on. Vague assignments force you to think about deconstructing the problem, and then framing it in meaningful ways, or ways that lead to solutions.
Vague Brochure Guidelines

(and problem solving)

Strict criteria and rubrics for the Brochures were not given prior to the task because vagueness forces thinking and problem solving. Rubrics and criteria can direct people into a stream that (1) blocks creative alternatives, (2) turns learners into technicians rather than problem solvers, (3) prevents discovery, and (4) generates a "weak" form of constructivism.
Vague Test Questions

(and problem solving)

Vague test questions provide an opportunity to discuss with others one's rationale for an answer selection. One can learn strategies for information processing from others. One can develop metacognitive strategies. One can learn various problem solving techniques from observing others, debating with others, exploring alternatives, and so on.
Why make it so difficult? There's a story about a nature lover out walking in the woods and she comes across a cluster of cocoons with the butterflies just starting to emerge. She watches.

The emerging butterflies struggle and struggle and struggle, but seem to be making very little progress. Being a compassionate person she decides to assist, and so she starts prying parts of the cocoon apart to allow the strugglers to emerge more easily. But then she notices something strange. Those that she helped to emerge, finally break free... 


...flutter to the ground and hobble away. Beautiful, but bound in some figurative manner.



Those that struggled on their own to emerge just flew away. Apparently, there is something in the struggling process that facilitates the structure and function of wing-use in butterflies. The tension the wings experience in the struggle contributes to proper development and thus the struggle is important! It seems to be characteristic of nature, generally. Do you think there might be something vitally important in struggle, even cognitive struggle?

Some may check with the entomologists.

  PowerPoint 2,219KB from 2002/2003