The Art of Snaring Dragons

Unknown author (1974-11-01)

Revised May 1975

DRAGONs are formidable problems in elementary mechanics not amenable to solution by naﶥ formula cranking. What is the intellectual weaponry one needs to snare a Dragon? To snare a Dragon one brings to mind an heuristic frame ??specifically structured association of problem solving ideas. Data on the anatomy of heuristic frames ??st how and what ideas are linked together ??s been obtained from the protocols of many attacks on Dragons by students and physicists. In this paper various heuristic frames are delineated by detailing how they motivate attacks on two particular Dragons, Milko and Jugglo, from the writer's compilation. This model of the evolution of problem solving skills has also been applied to the interpretation of the intellectual growth of children, and in an Appendix we use it to give a cogent interpretation for the protocols of Piagetian "Conservation" experiments. The model provides a sorely needed theoretical framework to discuss teaching strategems calculated to promote problem solving skills.