Observing four and five year olds’ cognitive problem-solving: A qualitative study using a variation of Vygotsky’s double stimulation method



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Problem-solving is a skill that is a part of everyday existence. It is displayed among adults and children. The purpose of the qualitative study was to observe preschoolers engage in problem-solving and as a result gain insight to the strategies they incorporated in the process. A total of twelve preschoolers ages four and five participated in the study. The children were paired with a peer and props/tools were arranged for the activity. The children met with the researcher two at a time and were presented a problem-solving activity. The study set out to observe the children during the activity that incorporated Vygotsky’s (1978) double stimulation method while they solved the problem facilitated by the researcher. Findings of this qualitative study revealed the various strategies the children utilized within the study. The most prevalent strategies included taking initiative when problem-solving, interpersonal problem-solving, verbal problem-solving, and nonverbal problem-solving with physical responses. Each of these strategies surfaced across dyads and aligned with previous, relevant research.



Problem solving, Preschooler, Double stimulation method, Vygotsky