to the Book
Introduction to Problem Solving
Overview of Resources in Problem Solving
Intelligence as Resource
Chapter 4: Tools
Accumulated Knowledge as Resource
Education and Training as Resource
Chapter 7: A
Personal Productivity Tools
Search Engine in Lieu of
References and Resources
(Click Here for Topics That
Might Eventually Get Added to This Book)
Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (1993). Surpassing
ourselves: An inquiry into the nature and implications of
expertise. Chicago and La Salle, IL: Open Court.
A seminal book on expertise. It is aimed at
educators and education in general, but it also discusses
some of the roles of computers in expertise. Not easy
reading, but it is well worth whatever effort it takes.
Communications of the ACM (1994, March).
The Association for Computing Machinery is a
very large professional society consisting of
professionals in the computer field. Communications of
the ACM is written for people who have a solid background
in the domain of computer and information science.
However, the March 1994 issue contains a number of
summary, overview articles on artificial intelligence
that have been written for people who are not specialists
in this area. They provide an excellent overview of the
problems of this domain and the progress that has been
made in addressing these problems.
Communications of the ACM (1994, July).
See the comments about the ACM in the preceding
annotation. The July 1994 issue of Communications of the
ACM contains a number of excellent summary, overview
articles about intelligent agents.
Costa, A. L., (Ed.). (1991). Developing minds: A resource
book for teaching thinking. Alexandria, VA: Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development.
This resource book produced by the Association
for Supervision and Curriculum Development provides an
excellent overview of what is known about teaching
thinking skills. It contains a wide range of articles
written by people who are experts in this domain.
de Bono, E. (1973&endash;75). CoRT thinking. Blandford,
Dorset, England: Direct Education Services Limited.
The Cognitive Research Trust (CoRT) thinking
program is a program of study designed to increase
thinking and problem-solving skills. This program has
been the subject of quite a bit of research and has been
implemented in a number of different places. It is an
example of a type of program that has proven effective in
increasing general problem-solving skills.
de Bono, E. (1985). De Bono's thinking course. NY: Facts
on File, Inc.
Edward de Bono is a world-class expert in
teaching thinking skills. He is a prolific author and
inspirational workshop presenter. His books give
practical, down-to-earth ways for improving thinking
skills. Some of his books are aimed at business people
and others are aimed at educators. His books are widely
sold, so you are apt to find one or more of them in any
de Bono, E. (1992). Serious creativity: Using the power
of lateral thinking to create new ideas. NY: Harper
See the comments under de Bono, E. (1985).
Frederiksen, N. (1984). Implications of cognitive theory
for instruction in problem solving. Review of Educational
Research, 54, 363&endash;407.
This is a summary and analysis of the research
literature on problem solving. It is a good starting
point if you want to explore the research literature. The
article contains an extensive bibliography.
Frensch, P. and Funke, J., (Eds.). (1995). Complex
problem solving: The European perspective. Hillsdale, NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
This book provides an excellent overview of the
current research on complex problem solving. The main
emphasis is on research being done in Europe. However,
there is an excellent chapter written by Robert Sternberg
that compares and contrasts problem-solving research in
the United States with problem-solving research in
Europe. In recent years, much of the problem-solving
research in the United States has focused on specific
domains in which one can acquire a great deal of
expertise. Examples include chess, electronics, lawyer's
reasoning, physics, and writing. Research in Europe tends
to focus on more general problems, such as managing the
resources of a city. Europeans make use of complex
computer simulations of the problem-solving environments
to be studied.
Gall, M., Gall, J., Jacobsen, D., & Bullock, T.
(1990). Tools for learning: A guide to teaching study
skills. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development is a large professional society. It often
commissions books that are based on the latest research
in a domain and that are also strongly focused on how to
implement the underlying ideas in the classroom. This
book is written for educators who want to improve their
own learning skills and the learning skills of their
students. There is considerable emphasis on the cognitive
learning theories and on ways you can improve your study
Gardner, H. (1982). Art, mind, and brain: A cognitive
approach to creativity. NY: Basic Books.
Howard Gardner is a cognitive psychologist and
cognitive scientist. He is a prolific author and
recognized for his research and writing in a number of
areas of education. The three books listed here are
representative of his work. The book focuses on creative
intelligence. Gardner's books are widely sold, so you are
apt to find copies of some of them in major bookstores.
Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of
multiple intelligences. NY: Basic Books. (A 1993 edition is
now available; it is the same as the 1983 edition, except
that it contains additional material in the preface.)
The 1983 book was written for a somewhat narrow,
technical audience. The book has proven immensely
popular, as have the general ideas contained in the book.
This book, and the following one on the list, provide an
excellent introduction to the theory of multiple
intelligences and some applications of the theory.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory in
practice. NY: Basic Books.
This book expands on ideas originally presented
in Frames of Mind. It provides a variety of examples of
applications of the original theory. There is
considerable emphasis on applications to education.
Hirsch, E. D. (1988). Cultural literacy: What every
American needs to know. NY: Vintage Books.
Effective communication between people depends
not only on having a common language but also on having
some common knowledge and experiences. Hirsch's research
work has focused on identifying a common core of topics
and ideas--a type of cultural literacy--that contributes
to the ability of people, in the United States, to
communicate effectively with each other. One way to think
about the content of his book is from the point of view
of helping to solve the communication problem among
people in the United States. If each person has a common
core knowledge, such as the core proposed by Hirsch, this
will help each individual solve the communication
Kulik, J.A. (1994). Meta-analytic studies of findings on
computer-based instruction. In E. Baker and H. O'Neill
(Eds.), Technology assessment in education and training (pp.
9&endash;33). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
James Kulik has been doing metastudies on
computer-based learning (computer-assisted instruction)
for many years. A number of his studies have been funded
by the National Science foundation and other federal
agencies. This specific article is an analysis of the
metastudies that he and others have carried out. That is,
it is a meta-metastudy. It presents convincing evidence
that CAI works. The article also contains an extensive
bibliography, so it provides an excellent starting point
for a person who wants to explore the literature on CAI.
Moursund, D., & Yoder, S. (1990). LogoWriter for
educators: A problem solving approach. Eugene, OR:
International Society for Technology in Education.
Moursund and Yoder (also, Yoder and Moursund)
are prolific authors in the field of technology in
education. Each of their books listed in the References
and Resources section focuses on a computer tool and
underlying aspects of using the tool to solve problems. A
number of other books that they have authored
individually and jointly are available through the
International Society for Technology in Education.
Moursund, D., & Yoder, S. (1993). Problem solving and
communication in a HyperCard environment. Eugene, OR:
International Society for Technology in Education.
The HyperCard software first became available in
1988. It can be used to create hypermedia documents and
to make use of them on the Macintosh computer. This book
contains a strong focus on problem solving as it helps
you learn to use HyperCard.
Norman, D. (1990). The design of everyday things. NY:
Donald Norman is a cognitive scientist and a
prolific, witty author. He has a high level of expertise
in the domain of human-machine interfaces. He is
interested in both noncomputer and computer-based
human-machine interfaces. This book provides an excellent
introduction to the design of such everyday tools as
doors, drawers, and stoves. He gives many examples of
poor human-tool designs.
Norman, D. (1993). Things that make us smart: Defending
human attributes in the age of machines. Reading, MA:
This publication provides a superb discussion of
roles of technology in enhancing our intellectual
capabilities. Norman emphasizes that poorly designed
machines can make us feel dumb and prevent us from making
effective use of our intelligence. See Norman (1990).
Perkins, D. (1995). Outsmarting IQ: The emerging science
of learnable intelligence. NY: The Free Press.
This book provides a careful analysis of
possible definitions of intelligence and how IQ is
measured. Three different but closely related components
of intelligence are explored: neural intelligence,
experiential intelligence, and reflexive intelligence.
Arguments are presented to support the contention that
all three components of IQ can change. In particular,
appropriately designed education can increase
experiential and reflexive IQ. This book also has a major
focus on transfer of learning, with particular emphasis
on the high-road/low-road theory of transfer developed by
Perkins and Salomon in 1987.
Peters, T. (1994). The Tom Peters seminar: Crazy times
call for crazy organizations. NY: Vintage Books.
Tom Peters is a "guru" in business consulting.
The reference listed here focuses on how the information
and communication technologies are changing the world of
business. The book is fast paced and loaded with
important, challenging ideas about how business is and/or
should be facing the issue of how to solve problems and
create products in today's and tomorrow's world. The book
is somewhat zany and irreverent, but makes many points
that are important to problem solvers of today and
Polya, G. (1957). How to solve it: A new aspect of
mathematical method (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton
This book by George Polya is considered to be a
classic in the field of learning and teaching problem
solving. The emphasis is on strategies and metastrategies
that are applicable over a wide range of math problems. A
number of the strategies that are discussed are
applicable in areas outside of mathematics and thus
contribute to transfer of learning to other fields.
Examples include breaking a problem into subproblems and
relating a problem to other problems encountered in the
Salomon, G., & Perkins, D. (1988, September).
Teaching for transfer. Educational Leadership, 22-32.
Salomon and Perkins have developed the
high-road/low-road theory of transfer of learning. The
article listed here provides a good overview of the
domain of transfer of learning and how to teach transfer.
It also contains an extensive bibliography, so it is a
good starting point if you want to study the research on
transfer of learning.
Shekerjian, D. (1990). Uncommon genius: How great ideas
are born. NY: Penguin Books.
This book is a study of 40 people who have
received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation fellowships. These are often called "genius"
awards; the fellows are selected on the basis of their
creative intelligence. Howard Gardner was a MacArthur
Foundation fellow. The recipients are given five-year
awards, with the yearly award being in the range of about
$50,000. They are free to pursue whatever interests them.
This book explores commonalties among various MacArthur
fellows. One commonality is persistence, with great
success often following many years of lack of success.
Sternberg, R. (1988). The triarchic mind: A new theory of
human intelligence. NY: Penguin Books.
This book provides an excellent overview of the
history and work on attempting to define and test
intelligence. Sternberg argues that previous theories are
inadequate, and he presents a three-part definition of
intelligence. Sternberg is a strong supporter of the idea
that intelligence can be improved.
Toffler, A. (1990). Powershift: Knowledge, wealth, and
violence at the edge of the 21st century. NY: Bantam
Alvin Toffler and his wife Heidi are futurists
who have written three major books (published in 1970,
1980, and 1990 respectively) that represent our changing
world. The key idea in this most recent book is that
knowledge is power (knowledge is a resource) and that
this form of power is rapidly changing the world. The
book explores other forms of power (other resources),
such as agricultural productivity as power, industrial
manufacturing capacity as power, and violence (military
might) as power. Various countries are analyzed on the
basis of the balance that they have in these different
areas of power.
Yoder, S., & Moursund, D. (1995). Introduction to
ClarisWorks 4.0: A tool for personal productivity. Eugene,
OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
ClarisWorks is an integrated package of software
designed to run on both IBM-compatible and Macintosh
platforms. It is representative of the modern integrated
packages of software designed as general-purpose aids to
problem solving across many different disciplines. This
book contains a major focus on problem solving.
Top of Page
Topics That Might Eventually
Get Added to This Book
1. Problem solving and decision making are closely
related tasks. In its current form, the book does not
discuss decision making and roles of IT in decision
2. The topic "Complex Problem Solving" is not adequately
treated in the current book. Roughly speaking, Complex
Problem Solving refers to multivariable situations where the
variables may well interact in a nonlinear manner. Many real
world problems are of this sort, and humans are not good at
thinking skills, or critical thinking, are not
adequately treated in this book. Here are some thoughts on
Our educational system attempts to differentiate between
lower-order cognitive (thinking) skills and higher-order
cognitive (thinking) skills. In recent years there has been
increased emphasis on higher-order skills. In very brief
summary, we want students to learn some facts, but we also
want them to learn to think using the facts. This is true in
every area of the curriculum.
Often the "thinking" that we want students to do is to
recognize, pose, and solve problems. Thus, one of the goals
of education is to help students to get better at posing,
representing, and solving problem. A few schools actually
offer specific courses on problem solving. For the most
part, however, students learn about problem solving through
instruction in courses that have a strong focus on a
specific content area. Every teacher teaches problem solving
within the specific subject matter areas of their
H.O.T.S. Project, Stanley Pogrow
Stanley Pogrow's HOTS project was developed to help Title
I students. It makes use of computers, but does not depend
on special software developed specifically for the
Quoting from this NCREL site:
The Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) program
is a computer-based thinking program for at-risk students
in grades 4 through 7. It was designed by Stanley Pogrow
of the University of Arizona and now includes a network
of more than 1,300 schools across the United States.
Instead of focusing on traditional drill-and-practice
activities and supplementary instruction in content
areas, the HOTS program emphasizes "the basic thinking
processes that underlie all learning" (Pogrow, 1987, p.
11). Central to the program is the premise that at-risk
students need help in regulating their thinking
processes. The HOTS curriculum and the use of computers
enable students to improve their skills in metacognition,
inference from context, decontextualization, and
information synthesis. As a result, students improve
their comprehension and gain confidence in their ability
Higher-Order Thinking Strategies for the Classroom
Classroom-Ready Teaching Strategies that Promote
Higher-Order Thinking http://members.aol.com/MattT10574/
Nelson, George D. (2001). What Should We Teach? Choosing
Content That's Worth Knowing. Educational Leadership Volume
59 Number 2 October 2001. [Online]. Accessed
This is a really nice article about lower order
and higher order skills in science education by the
Director of Project 2061. Quoting from the article:
The questions of what, how, and why content
in any academic discipline should be taught challenge
educators. The fields of science, mathematics, and
technology provide a framework for discussion.
Most 3rd graders spend a fair amount of their
science time exploring with batteries, wires, and
lightbulbs. Educators hope that they will learn about
series, parallel electric circuits, and scientific
inquiry. Students are likely to revisit these concepts
in middle school and in high school. Yet research
shows that, despite the time and effort spent teaching
this lesson, students still don't understand much
about electricity (Osborne, 1983; Shipstone, 1984). A
classic video shows Harvard and Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates unable to
light a bulb with a battery and wire. One frustrated
young man hands back the equipment with the comment
"I'm a mechanical engineer, not an electrical
engineer" (Private Universe Project, 1989).
In another video, an MIT graduate has failed to
grasp the fundamental idea that plants make their own
food from the carbon dioxide in air and water, using
and storing energy from light in the process (Private
Universe Project, 1989). "Carbon is not much of a
building block from what I know of biochemistry," he
says. The same student tosses off the phrase
"photo-synthetic version of the electron transport
chain" in a futile effort to explain where the matter
in trees comes from. (It comes mostly from the carbon
dioxide in the air.)
These two examples remind us that even our best
students may not be learning what we think they are,
whether in science or any other domain. Students
engage in futile lessons that attempt to teach
difficult concepts in too short a time or in classes
that substitute facts and vocabulary for
understanding. The examples call into question basic
assumptions about what and how we teach and what and
how students learn, and they challenge our notions
about the goals of education and the roles of teacher
Internet School Library Media Center (ISLMC) Critical
Thinking Page [Online]. Accessed 1/16/02: http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/critical.htm.
Quoting from the Website:
Welcome to the Internet School Library Media
Center (ISLMC) Critical Thinking Page which is part of
the school library section. This page has general
information, lesson plans and bibliographies to help
educators interested in higher order thinking skills. You
can search the ISLMC, use an index or sitemap.
[[Note to self: This looks like a useful site,
both for access to other sites and for access to lesson
plans that have a focus on critical thinking.
Use of Logo
Yelland, Nicola. Developing higher order thinking skills
with Logo [Online]. Accessed when this entry was
made, but access failed 1/16/02. http://www.ozkidz.gil.com.au/rm/nicola.html