Why are Problem Solving Skills so Important?
As the complexity of the world increases, so does our need to improve and refine our problem solving skills. Furthermore, the rate at which our world is changing is rising so sharply that the ability to solve problems effectively and efficiently is not only a means of improving our employment opportunities. It is pivotal to our very survival! Some even argue that our world is becoming too complex and fast-paced to be managed effectively. Do we as a species possess the intellectual wherewithal to solve our problems more quickly than we create them? An excellent treatise on this question that is easily accessible to the layperson is the following:
Homer-Dixon, Thomas. The Ingenuity Gap. Vintage Books, 2002. (For more information, consult www.ingenuitygap.com.)
What does all this mean to our students? We as educators must do our utmost to convey the importance of problem solving to them. We need to present them with challenging and interesting problems that will inspire them to work toward solutions. At the same time, it is imperative that we discourage the idea that problem solving is a boring or that it only falls within the abilities of geniuses!
Follow the links below to learn the secrets of how to become a great problem solver!