We prefer chromium Chromium chrome Chrome | support safari Safari firefox Firefox opera Opera | but NOT IE Internet Explorer < 10.0
Ali EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli EftekhariAli Eftekhari

Problem Solving

No education without a problem-solving strategy can be effective and efficient.

Contrary to common ideas, problem-solving is not a technique or sub-category in education, but Problem Solving is EVERYTHING. Every step in our daily life is based on problem-solving: identifying a problem, then finding a solution. Usually, these steps are quickly taken by our brain or unconsciousness mind, as we are not noticed of their importance.

The ultimate purpose and goal of education are to prepare people for facing real problems. From ancient time, education was supported with examples, a simulation of real problems in the classroom, or in a better form simulation of problem-solving. The aim was to show students that how their knowledge can be useful in real action. 

However, this method is not very motivating, as students treat examples as artificial problems with no connection with real life. The problems have been manipulated to fit within the education scope.

Modern Aspects of Problem Solving
As a matter of fact, problem-solving should not support education. Instead, this is the duty of education to support problem-solving. We need to change our view in this regard. In classical form, problems (aka examples) are introduced as at the end of education to prove/test/show the usefulness of the corresponding knowledge. However, education MUST be started with a problem. In a typical example, a course begins with a problem, and the entire course is teaching how to solve this problem. There are critical points in this method:

1. Students must be motivated by what they are about to learn. From a cognitive science point of view, their mind will chase the topic out of their curiosity.

2. The problem must be real, we can polish it, but it must be an advanced problem. No fake or basic problem, which is usually boring.

3. We indirectly review the history of science, how scientists overcome the problem. How the problem was solved in real life. It is of utmost importance to make students familiar with steps taken to reach our present situation. The solution has not been fallen from the sky in one moment.

4. Students should feel their education and knowledge is the same kind of scientists.
Research Culture in Classroom
While education builds the foundation of research, research culture and scientific way of dealing w...
Bringing Reality into Classroom
Undergraduate is mainly restricted to knowledge transfer, but junior students needs motivations and...
Scientific Reasoning as the Backbone of Education
Limiting ourselves within the framework of classical education and relying on textbook can subject ...
© 2015 Ali Eftekhari. All rights reserved.