Problem-Solving Group Discussions

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A person’s life involves solving problems and deciding on the best possible solution(s) to them. Our students are bound to face this scenario shortly, and our job as teachers is to help them cope with solving problems.  The workshop has a primary purpose of challenging the participants to prove that a problem exists, explain the causes of the problem, brainstorm possible solutions, evaluate the solution and chose the best option, and contribute to a problem-solving discussion.

 

The workshop developed through six steps:

STEP 1: Identify a Problem

STEP 2: Prove that the Problem Exists

STEP 3: Explain the cause of the Problem

STEP 4: Predict possible future effects of the Problem

STEP 5: Present possible solutions to the Problem

STEP 6: Select the best solutions

 

The participants worked in groups of four with the expectation of setting a collaborative approach to the workshop. The presentation used information that exemplifies each step.  Each group had to follow all the steps while sharing or discussing each task within a time limit.  While observing the development of each of the steps, the topics selected by each group brought about a very interactive exchange of ideas, as well as an active opposition not on the topic, but in the production of evidence to support the “problem proposed.”  The results were more evident as the proposal of solutions or step 5 came.  The sometimes-passionate opinions made the workshop an existing role play by itself.  The expectations of the workshop gravitated on the idea that participants would be able to share ideas and be aware of the potential of creating a sense of critical thinking on what the selection of a topic for discussion would take.  In other words, teach the students to analyze a potential problem by evaluating it thoroughly.  On the other hand, the participants, from a personal point of view, engaged in a very energetic, but respectful manner their differences to comply with each step of the process.  However, one issue the workshop faced was the time restrictions for each step.  In fact, participants needed and wanted more time to discuss and express thoughts and opinions.

Overall, the outcomes were positive based on opinions and questions on how they could apply and adapt the workshop.  One participant mentioned that she started thinking to adapt the material, so her students could identify grammar “problems.”  Another teacher mentioned that the workshop would contribute to the analysis of more academic topics for his students such as “why there isn’t an increase of class hours in public schools.”  The feedback encouraged to continue sharing strategies with future generations of educators.

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