Classroom Problem-Solving Comparison Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

Classroom Problem-Solving
A discussion of the roles of well-defined problems and ill-defined problems in modern classroom instruction.
# 118133 | 1,867 words | 5 sources | APA | 2009 | US
Published on Jan 07, 2010 in Education (Teaching Methods)

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This paper discusses techniques for instructing students in the classroom. The paper first explains that well-defined problems have a fixed initial starting position, a set structure of allowable operations, a clearly stated goal and one unique solution. The paper then shows how ill-defined problems have no set solution or set procedure for being successful. The paper discusses how both techniques can be used to achieve different goals in the classroom, depending on the content and subject matter. The paper points out, however, that ill-defined problems require a more dynamic approach in order to come up with a solution, and so this type of problem-solving is perhaps more valuable.

From the Paper:

"Well-defined problems have a fixed initial starting position as well as a set structure of allowable operations and a clearly stated goal. Furthermore, problems such as these have one unique solution. A good example of a well-defined problem is the "Tower of Hanoi" problem, a logical puzzle that tests the problem solving abilities of students. This ancient puzzle is of Indian origin and consists of three pegs and a tower of discs. The challenge is to move the tower of discs from one peg to another in the smallest number of moves. This puzzle was taken up by the French mathematician Edouard Lucas in 1883 and marketed as a toy."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Connolly, T., Dowd, T., Criste, A., Nelson, C.S., Tobias, L., (1995). The Well-Managed Classroom: Promoting Student Success Through Social Skill Instruction. Boys Town, NE: The Boys Town Press.
  • Kuhn, M.R. (2007). Fluency in the Classroom: Solving Problems in Teaching of Literacy. New York, NY: Guildford Press.
  • Marzano, R.J., Marzano, J.S., Pickering, D.J. (2003). Classroom Management That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Every Teacher. New York, NY: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve.
  • Schunn, C.D., McGregor, M.U., Saner, L.D. (2005). Expertise in ill-defined problem-solving domains as effective strategy use. Memory & Cognition, 33 (8), 1377-1387.
  • Spiegel, D.L. (2005) Classroom Discussion: Strategies for Engaging All Students. New York, NY: Teaching Resources Press.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Classroom Problem-Solving (2010, January 07) Retrieved July 27, 2016, from

MLA Format

"Classroom Problem-Solving" 07 January 2010. Web. 27 July. 2016. <>