The Manifestation of Classroom Experience in the Problem Solving of Teachers.Report as inadecuate

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This paper describes a study of the differences between problem solving skills of graduate students in education who have had full-time teaching experience and those who have not. Information was gathered to determine the extent to which the use of concepts in problem solving and the use of problem solving strategies differ among educators as a function of teaching experience. Ten subjects, five experienced and five nonexperienced educators, engaged in two tasks. In the first task, subjects were asked to provide written responses to four questions designed to elicit belief statements about education; the second task required subjects to think aloud as they responded to two written vignettes of typical classroom situations. Results indicate that the most fundamental determinant of teacher decision making is the structure of a teacher's knowledge which is greatly influenced by the types of teaching experiences that teacher has encountered. Five appendices, which comprise over 50 percent of the document, consist of a pretest, a think-aloud task (vignettes), an example of the analysis process, coding for causal statements and examples, and diagrams of problem solving activities. (Author/LL)

Descriptors: Beginning Teachers, Classroom Techniques, Cognitive Mapping, Decision Making Skills, Doctoral Programs, Education Majors, Elementary Secondary Education, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Knowledge Level, Problem Solving, Protocol Analysis, Teaching Experience

Author: Wolfe, Edward W.; Ranney, Michael


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