The Role of Strategies in Complex Technology Problem Solving
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Two issues are addressed in this thesis. Firstly, the nature of technological problems and the ways in which they differ from everyday problems are explored. It is argued that technological problems are complex and ill-defined and that these characteristics determine that specific problem-solving strategies are required to resolve these problems successfully. The second issue addressed is the manner in which pre-service technology teachers solve technological problems including the strategies they employ to solve them. The results of the empirical studies in this thesis reveal that problem-solvers, while employing expert-like strategies in one domain, apply a combination of both expert and novice-like problem-solving strategies (sometimes referred to as heuristics) when they are confronted with an unfamiliar domain or new problem type. It is argued that this phenomenon occurs when the problem-solver has exhausted the knowledge and skills acquired in previous problem-solving events and the transference of this experience to the new domain or problem type ceases. As a result, the problem-solver reverts to novice-like heuristics such as trial-and-error in an effort to resolve the problem or its sub-problems. However, this leads the problem-solver to switch direction numerous times, diverting their efforts, in many cases, towards low priority issues and unproductive outcomes. It is argued that systemised strategies such as Advanced Systematic of Inventive Thinking (ASIT), guide the problem-solvers activities toward more productive and rewarding outcomes leading to plausible solutions being generated from within the problem elements thereby simplifying the problem-solving process.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
Item Access Status
Advanced Systematic of Inventive Thinking (ASIT)