Can you learn to solve problems yourself just by looking at the solved examples in your textbook or study guide? Discuss.

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Can you learn to solve problems yourself just by looking at the solved examples in your textbook or study guide? Discuss.

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Although reviewing your lecture notes and reading your textbook are important, why does the study of chemistry depend so much on problem solving? Can you learn to solve problems yourself just by looking at the solved examples in your textbook or study guide? Discuss.

Answer & Explanation (1)

Explanation
Chemistry is the branch of science that is associated with the study of composition, properties, and changes experienced by different substances present in the universe. The initial study of chemistry seems challenging because of the unfamiliar and completely new vocabulary used in the study. Initially, the terminologies are memorized but the study becomes genuine and effortless after gradual understanding. In order to solve a problem related to chemistry, the provided information is sorted and the important ones are chosen to proceed further. Further, the problem is simplified by thinking of all the possible ways to tackle it. If one of the assumptions to solve the problem fails, the mistakes are acknowledged and another careful attempt is made by using the other assumption. The process consumes time and requires patience.

The other step in the study of chemistry is gaining confidence. It is acquired by the means of consistent problem-solving. This helps in building a better understanding of chemistry. The individual becomes familiar with the different steps and the sequence involved in solving a problem through these exercises. Besides, it also influences the creative mind of the students. It gives rise to innovative thoughts to deal with unfamiliar topics that are not directly expressed in the theoretical description. It is not just a test of knowledge, but also a test of patience.

Just like scientists deal with multiple possible hypotheses to explain the observations, students should also focus on generating different ways by which a problem is resolved. The consistent practice of problem-solving does not come by just reading the theories and going through the examples. A proper assessment of the study is only made after striving to solve the problems based upon chemistry. It challenges creative minds and promotes independent exploration of different possible ways to identify, solve, and illustrate a problem. For studying chemistry, one needs to think like a chemist. It encourages an individual to ponder about long-term profits and ignore short-term frustration.

Sample Response
Problem-solving builds confidence and makes the study of chemistry quite smooth. Moreover, it induces creativity, knowledge, and patience.

No, the problems are not directly understood by just seeing the examples until and unless the questions in the exercises are practiced. This is because practicing the problems helps to sharpen the ability to recognize and process different problems in different ways and solve them effectively.

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