Sunday, July 8, 2012

Problem solving

Problem solving is the goal of much of the curriculum in South Africa. This PISA investigation has some of the clearest headings/labels/points I have seen for what is problem solving and how to recognise it in questions (exams). Look at pages 153 onwards. Look at marking guides on page 179. Try setting exam papers / tasks which contain problem solving questions. 
My experience is that we have a long way to go in developing problem solving skills.


Anonymous said...

Excellent document - worth reading!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Excellent document - worth reading!

Anonymous said...

The document says:
'require the problem-solver to engage in higher order thinking processes with the goal of reaching solutions for realistic, authentic tasks that require the integration of skills'
'confront the test taker with non-routine problems that require the student to invent a novel solution strategy'

The CAPS says:
'Learners should apply a combination of techniques, knowledge and skills learned to new situations in order to completer a task/solve a problem or achieve an objective'
'Learners should complete integrated practical tasks that encourage thinking and decion making.

'Authentic tasks' - context, scenario, case studies

Are we preparing learners for this?

Dr Pam Miller said...

To respond to the comments above, in the
CAPS Gr 10 book – Module 7.1 (Integrated skills) and Module 7.2 (Practical problem solving)
CAPS Gr 11 book - Module 8.1 (Working smarter) and Module 8.2 (Case studies)
Gr 11 book – Chapter 6.2 (Collaboration and integration)
Gr 12 book – Module 6.3 (Practice makes perfect)
the authors have tried to prepare learners for this situation.
But it is a big challenge!

Dr Pam Miller said...

Fluency is first necessary.

Anonymous said...

Yes, fluency requires expertise - expertise in using the packages.
Without expert knowledge of the 'tools' available and the understanding that underpins these, one cannot solve problems.
I think the CAPS also refers to this.

Fluency is much more than literacy. CAT requires fluency - something that many do not understand.

A big challenge indeed! But it is ok to set the bar high.

We may dream :-)