Friday, April 4, 2014

Rewriting, reformulating, and problem solving

If a student can't answer a question posed in words they are often advised to reword the question and see if they better understand what is being asked for in the reformulated question.  This advice is also applicable to other forms of knowledge representation like mathematics, diagrams, figures, etc.  When working with an electric circuit diagram, for example, it may be useful to consider lengthening and shortening various wires and moving components and connections around.  This may make it more obvious that several resistors are purely in series or purely in parallel, for example.  In mathematics, if you have a set of equations, rather than eliminating variables it may be useful to rewrite the equations in matrix form and then seek a solution by finding an inverse matrix.

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