Strategies

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A method for solving (or attempting to solve) a task. One has strategies for all types of tasks (including both conceptual tasks and procedural tasks) and strategies can be as simple as guessing or retrieving an answer or more complicated, such as applying a multi-step formula or constructing a procedure from conceptual knowledge. An individual can have and use many different strategies for any given task, and chooses between them each time he or she is confronted with a problem of that type.

See Siegler, R.S. (1996). Children’s Thinking. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

From Siegler, R. S., & Shrager, J. (1984). Strategy choices in addition and subtraction: How do children know what to do? In C. Sophian (Ed.), The origins of cognitive skills (pp. 229-293). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Strategies differ in their accuracy, in the amounts of time they require, in their memory demands, and in the range of problems to which they apply. Strategy choices involve tradeoffs among these properties so that people can cope with cognitive and situational constraints. These cognitive and situational constraints can vary from moment to moment, even within what ordinarily is viewed as a single problem. The broader the range of strategies that people know, the more precisely they can shape their approaches to meet these changing circumstances