The effect of thinking style on the process of problem solving : A study of elementary school students using computer game as a milieu
Dr. Chuen-Tasi Sun
|關鍵字:||思考風格;問題解決歷程;thinking style;problem solving process|
本研究的定位，在「思考風格」方面，以羅勃•史坦伯格（Robert J. Sternberg）的「心理自治」（Mental Self-government）所用的功能模式為準，將思考風格分為立法型、行政型及司法型；在「問題解決」方面，定位在處理「半結構問題」（semi-structured problem）、「頓悟性問題」（no insight problem）；並將問題解決的歷程分為瞭解問題、探索分析、選擇策略、尋找答案、省思擴展五個歷程。
In time of change when knowledge updates and accumulates rapidly, the sphere of education should not only concern itself with "transmission of knowledge", but should also attend to the "method of obtaining knowledge". It will be a more meaningful education to equip the pupils with "independent thinking" and "problem solving skills" so that they will better adapt to the ever-changing societies. In line with global educational trend the Ministry of Education has embarked on an Educational Reform Action Program in response to the national demand and the public outcry. A nine year joint curricula plan is implemented which focuses on the 10 basic learning capabilities or skills. Among these is the skill of independent thinking and problem solving. "Thinking" and "problem solving" are two sides of a coin. They are important subjects in cognitive psychology. The problem solving ability in particular is a critical index of intelligence. The present work attempts to formulate patterns of problem solving process among the students of different thinking styles. It is hoped that these results will be of use when devising strategies for efficient and effective teaching. In this study the pupils were categorized as legislative, executive and judicial in their thinking styles. They were exposed to semi-structured and insight problems to which the process of solving was decomposed into 5 steps: (a) understanding the problem, (b) devising plans to solve it, (c) selecting strategies, (d) carrying out the plan, and (e) looking back -- checking the results and evaluating the solution. The computer game used as a milieu in this study consists of six units, each of which presents a unique situation. Players would have to appraise the situation, finding out the problems and the corresponding solutions all by him or herself. It is through this milieu that we study how pupils with various thinking styles would think and solve problems. This work employed qualitative methodology. Six pupils with characteristic thinking styles was selected out of 207 fifth and sixth graders by questionnaire. Each one of them was given computer games to play, during which time the entire process was videotaped. The performance was translated into words for analysis, which was confirmed by interview. The results showed that individuals with a legislative thinking style appeared more flexible in their thought process and employed multiple strategies that largely fit the goal; they are to be left free to explore on their own eithout any hinting. The executive type presented a lack of goal directed process and were are inapt for tasks that entail thinking; example are to be given as guidance during exploration. Finally the judicial type exhibited a leap in their thought process and often showed failure to follow steps in order. To restrain exploration, hinting is necessary.
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