Certain types of thinking are best suited to certain types of problem-solving

Nov 12, 2008

A new study in the journal Mind, Brain, and Education reveals that certain types of thinking are best suited to solving certain types of problems. Specifically, geometry problems are best solved by a combination of verbal and spatial strategies, but not shape-based imagery strategies.

Researchers investigated whether middle school students solved geometry problems more successfully than their peers when they were provided with clues consistent with their own style of thinking. The cognitive styles that were identified and the related clues were verbal, spatial, and shape-based. They found that regardless of the type of clue provided, spatial and verbal thinking styles were useful for solving the geometry problems, while shape-based thinking was much less effective.

The study shows that geometry problems are solved most successfully through certain styles of thinking.

"Our research may have an impact on the teaching of geometry, and perhaps mathematics in general," the authors conclude. "Specifically, teaching students how to think spatially and manipulate and hold in mind images may improve their performance in geometry class. Thus, it is important for students to consider other thinking styles than approaches usually taught in most introductory geometry classes in the U.S."

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Researchers develop novel gene / cell therapy approach for lung disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Measuring the proper motion of a galaxy

Sep 23, 2014

The motion of a star relative to us can be determined by measuring two quantities, radial motion and proper motion. Radial motion is the motion of a star along our line of sight. That is, motion directly ...

Unlocking the potential of simulation software

Aug 21, 2014

With a method known as finite element analysis (FEA), engineers can generate 3-D digital models of large structures to simulate how they'll fare under stress, vibrations, heat, and other real-world conditions.

Advancing medicine, layer by layer

Jul 02, 2014

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor ...

Surprising nanotubes: Some slippery, some sticky

Jun 01, 2014

Nanotubes—microscopic cylinders the shape of drinking straws, but just one-thousandth the diameter of a human hair—have been the subject of intensive research, with potential uses ranging from solar cells ...

Smart components that assemble themselves

Apr 25, 2014

Skylar Tibbits SM '10 was constructing a massive museum installation with thousands of pieces when he had an epiphany. "Imagine yourself facing months on end assembling this thing, thinking there's got to ...

Recommended for you

Gut bacteria are protected by host during illness

4 minutes ago

To protect their gut microbes during illness, sick mice produce specialized sugars in the gut that feed their microbiota and maintain a healthy microbial balance. This protective mechanism also appears to help resist or tolerate ...

ZEB1, Oscar for leading role in fat storage

2 hours ago

A team from Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, has managed to decode the process of adipogenesis by identifying the precise proteins that play the ...

Study establishes zebrafish as a model for flu study

6 hours ago

In the ongoing struggle to prevent and manage seasonal flu outbreaks, animal models of influenza infection are essential to gaining better understanding of innate immune response and screening for new drugs. ...

User comments : 0