Problem solving strategies for younger schoolchildren

UDC 740
Publication date: 03.09.2023
International Journal of Professional Science №9-2023

Problem solving strategies for younger schoolchildren

Zak Anatoly
Leading Researcher, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education,
Moscow, Russia
Abstract: The article presents a study devoted to studying the nature of the distribution of problem-solving strategies among primary schoolchildren. 81 first-graders, 76 second-graders, and 75 third-graders took part in individual experiments. Children solved spatial-combinatorial problems using the “Jumping Cubes” method in an objectively active manner. As a result of the study, it was shown that in the second year of school, most children move from a strategy based on a non-generalized understanding of the subject content of the problems being solved to strategies related to the identification of the general principle of solving problems and specific principles. In the future, we plan to characterize the distribution of the noted strategies among fourth-graders.
Keywords: first, second and third grade students, individual experiments, spatial-combinatorial problems, “Jumping Cubes” technique, problem solving strategies.

  1. Introduction.

 One of the important problems of developmental and educational psychology is in describing the characteristics of strategies used by primary schoolchildren when solving problems of a search nature. This refers to strategies based on different approaches to solving problems — empirical, associated with a situational, non-generalized understanding of the subject content of problems, and theoretical, associated with a generalized understanding.

In solving this problem in theoretical terms, we relied on the above-mentioned approaches developed in Russian psychology, which were generally proposed by S.L. Rubinstein [6] and further specified in the studies of V.V. Davydov [2] and his followers [ 1, 3 ]. In the experimental plan, we relied on the characteristics of a two-part experimental situation that we developed (see, for example, [4]), related to solving problems (the first part) and their generalization (the second part).

The general goal of this study was, therefore, to establish the distribution in the mental activity of junior schoolchildren when solving problems of strategies that are manifested in the implementation of the above-mentioned approaches to understanding the subject content of problems.


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