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Durham University

School of Education

Staff Profile

Publication details for Prof Joe Elliott

Resing, W.C.M., Bakker, M., Pronk, C.M.E. & Elliott, J. (2016). Dynamic testing and transfer: An examination of children's problem-solving strategies. Learning and Individual Differences 49: 110-119.

Author(s) from Durham


This study examined the problem-solving behaviour of 104 children (aged 7–8 years) when tackling construction-analogy tasks. Children were allocated to one of two conditions: either a form of unguided practice alone or this in combination with training based on graduated prompt techniques. Children's ability to solve figural open-ended analogy-problems was investigated as well as their ability to construct new analogy problems themselves. We examined children's progression in solving analogy problems and the variability in their strategy-use. Results showed that the group that received training made greater progress in solving analogy problems than children who only received unguided practice opportunities. However, the training appeared to give no additional improvement in performance on the transfer task over that of repeated unguided practice alone. Findings from this study demonstrate that an open construction task can provide additional information about children's cognitive learning potential.