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Design Problems for Secondary Students

Abstract

"To what degree are high school students able to conceptualize and resolve design challenges that include a number of complex variables or choices? That issue has not been informed by a lot of research. Clearly, motivation will play a significant role in student efforts to solve more complex and ill-structured problems. High school and college students have learned that most problems have correct answers, which becomes their exclusive goal preventing them from approaching ill-structured problems successfully. Our experiences in several studies in physics and engineering suggest that the correct answer is much more important than understanding the problem or transferring the skills required to solve it. Those expectations will need to be changed and the required efforts need to be scaffolded."

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