Why is the ability to solve problems important in the study of chemistry? Why is it that the method used to attack a problem is as important as the answer to the problem itself?
directs you to the Chemistry in Focus feature in the chapter
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. It is the study of various interactions that take place among the distinct samples of matter, the human body, a chemical laboratory, and so on. 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.
Chemistry is not meant to be memorized. The actual study of chemistry is dependent upon learning different ways to tackle the problems. 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 made after striving to solve the problems based upon chemistry. It challenges the creative mind and promotes independent exploration of different possible ways to sharpen the ability to recognize different problems, process the different problems in different ways, and express them effectively. 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. The method applied to tackle the problem is as significant as the final answer because it makes the individual learn to interpret the problem, propose suitable hypotheses, and verify the explanations experimentally. Initially a problem is solved by using a general technique so that the basic concepts that are learned are applicable further to the complicated problems of life.
Problem-solving is important because it builds understanding, confidence, knowledge, and creativity.
The method to solve a problem is as essential as the final answer because it enhances the independent exploration of different possible ways to identify, solve, and illustrate a given problem.