3 Problem Situations

Source: Creativity Post, Dec 2016

Einstein spoke much about the importance of forming problems (i.e., being curious enough to ask questions).  Jacob Getzels, a former psychology professor at the University of Chicago, conducted foundational research on this topic in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.  Getzels (1982) identified three main types of problem situations:

  1.    presented problem situations
    (the problem exists, is given to the student, and has a known answer/way to solve it)
     
  2.    discovered problem situations
    (the problem exists but is discovered by a student rather than given to him; there may or may not be a known solution or way of solving)
     
  3.    created problem situations
    (the problem does not exist until someone creates it or asks the question)

Usually students are asked to solve presented problems, those with known outcomes and specific ways they are to be solved.  Some students are content with solving this type of problem.  

Wrote Getzels, “Put in terms of our taxonomy, the production of discovered or created problems is often a more significant accomplishment than the production of solutions to presented problems.”

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