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: Diminutive decoys: Membrane-cloaked nanoparticles disrupt antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

Hyperbolic homogeneous polynomials, oh my!

Apr 21, 2014

Cutting-edge mathematics today, at least to the uninitiated, often sounds as if it bears no relation to the arithmetic we all learned in grade school. What do topology and combinatorics and n-dimensional ...

Recommended for you

A better way to track emerging cell therapies using MRIs

1 hour ago

Cellular therapeutics – using intact cells to treat and cure disease – is a hugely promising new approach in medicine but it is hindered by the inability of doctors and scientists to effectively track the movements, destination ...

New biomedical implants accelerate bone healing

8 hours ago

A major success in developing new biomedical implants with the ability to accelerate bone healing has been reported by a group of scientists from the Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Malaya. ...

User comments : 0