As he spoke of this, he listed attributes that he believes students need to effectively solve problems. Those attributes included:
- the ability to set goals
- the ability to utilize data effectively
- the opportunity to experience failure
- the desire and ability to probe
- cultural sensitivity
- language skills
- the ability to analyze
- the ability to effectively use statistics
On a few occasions in talking with the superintendent, he also mentioned that the early grades' skill development is the stepping stone to rich, real world problem solving at the Middle School and High School. This doesn't mean that we are not solving real world problems early on, but instead that we are focused on developing students' ability to master Common Core skills and standards which set the stage for effective problem solving.
As I develop the math and science program next year, I want to think about this focus with regard to the way students learn and the exercises they engage in related to that learning.
I'll be thinking more about this in the days ahead.