Link: Learning through Problem Solving

Great post from John Scammell walking through a how-to for “wcydwt” (what can you do with this) or “ltps” (learning through problem solving). Can we just call it great teaching?

Learning Through Problem Solving Process

1. Present the problem.

  • The problem is best presented using a multimedia artifact like an article, video, picture, story, song or any other multimedia artifact.
  • It is best if the question the teacher wants the students to explore is not explicitly stated in the artifact.

2. Have students come up with the question they want to answer.

  • Ask students what perplexes them in the artifact.  What questions do they have?  What do they wonder about?
  • Let this discussion go on long enough for them to come up with the question that you want them to answer.  This is the hook.  They feel like the question came from them, rather than their teacher.



2 thoughts on “Link: Learning through Problem Solving

  1. “Let this discussion go on long enough for them to come up with the question that you want them to answer.”

    I understand the reality of coverage expectations and high stakes test preparation leave little room for tangents, but boy would I love to live in a world where the students didn’t have to come up with the question the teacher wants them to answer, but instead could explore their own questions. In this world, I imagine spending a greater amount of time talking about the aesthetics of what makes for an interesting math problem and much less time cajoling students to ask the “right” question.

    1. I’d even take a trade of depth over breadth. Damn you standardized curriculum and your “lists” of material to “cover”.

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