Here are given 8 commonplace yet effective ways to make solving problems an easy game for students!
- Introduce students to problematic situations: Most of the academic institutions adopt a conventional approach that completion of syllabus is an end in itself. This is mistaken. Teaching subjects alone does not cater to students’ need for learning effectively. Teachers must see what areas in each subject contain potential problems and let students know about them. Learning should or is not an easy process.
- Guide students to spot problems: After the teacher’s essential guide, the students should be told to mark problems on their own. Since dependence on instructors is not ideal for beginners, it is the responsibility of teachers to push pupils towards thinking and figuring out where the problem lies. Problem detection leads to problem solution.
- Ask students to define/describe the problems they encounter: Spotting issues for studentsis only the first step towards the goal.They should be disciplined in describing problems withclarity. Learning how to classify, to compare and contrast and to trace the cause-and-effectrelation among things is imperative. Equally important is teaching students a relevant vocabulary, such as, ‘This question is doable, let us try it another way’ etc.
- Equip students with creative and critical thinking skills: Everyday teaching must include students’ instruction into development of creative and critical thinking skills. Brainstorming, reflection are two thinking-sharpening techniques. Moreover, asking them curious and open-ended questions is important to unleash their wisdom.
- Ask students to work collaboratively: Doing a problem solving activity in a group is far better than doing it individually. Students should be asked to do team work since it sparks their curiosity and thewill to contribute with interest to the solution of a problem. This will help them become cooperative in life.
- Students with a learning disability need tender care on the part of teachers and parents: Not all students are able to deal with problems independently and successfully. Those who lag behind in this respect must be assisted by their parents and teachers, who should help children develop a sense of self-confidence. Constant reinforcement is a must.
- Teachers must be efficient in gauging feelings and responses in problem solving for the students: When students fail to solve a problem, they demonstrate frustration in their peculiar ways. Some admit failure and show reluctance to continue with the task while others quit it silently. Here the instructor must act with the requisite maturity to plumb the complexity of the situation and extend to pupils a helping hand.
- Lastly, a teacher has got to be observant, responsive, facilitator and patient while engaging learners in a puzzle solving assignment: Learning of students depends chiefly on how a teacher’sattitude towards them is. No teacher can be a good teacher if he or she lacks the above mentioned qualities. Students, especially those at a preliminary stage, demand tender care on the part of teachers, who can hinder or ease their problem solving capability.