A big part of the job as an educator is to discover effective ways
to help children make it through the difficult times of their academic
lives. Students must have the ability to problem solve effectively
is very important in helping them learn self-respect and self-esteem,
overcome feelings of helplessness, and promote a generalized sense
of capability. Equipping students with the right problem solving skills
will promote resiliency and solution-focused problem solving shifts
away from emphasizing problems and toward helping students discover
the considerable power and possibilities they have in themselves.
The solution-focused problem-solving perspective emphasizes that
children can become stuck by focusing on their past and current "bad"
behavior and failures versus focusing on future solutions. It is important
that educators will increase student performance by removing obstacles
to student learning. Children accomplish more when they concentrate
on their successes and strengths rather than their failures and deficits.
There are so many advantages for students who know how to constructively
problem solve. Students should be looked at as being good and capable
of rational thought but without any influence from teachers or significant
adults a student will likely focus more on their own negative side.
Once educators begin to shift to the positives of the good things
that are going on in a student's life, the student's usually will
switch to that, open up and talk about it too. Students do have the
capacity to act on common sense if given the opportunity to identify
common sense problem-solving strategies. Solution-focused problem
solving is based on the theory that small changes in behavior lead
to bigger changes in behavior. Solution-focused problem solving emphasizes
a role shift for students. Small shifts in role by a student will
cause shifts in other places. The best advice that can be given to
an educator in regards to teaching problem solving skills to a student
is to develop an alliance with the student and work together to determine
the problem and the cause. Identify the student's strength, everyone
has at least one, and then they can build strengths and foundations
which will lead to positive changes. When the plan does not seem to
be working and the student seems to be repeating the same pattern
or does not have the ability to control compulsive behaviors then
the educator has to watch for a pattern and reinforce with positive.
Solution-focused problem solving pursues the positive and students
are more likely to find a solution to a problem when they concentrate
on their successes rather than their failures. Students must realize
that they play a huge part in the success of their problem solving
process and that change will occur. Once the changes begin to happen
then the student will realize that their lives can be very different.
Then it is time to have the students set goals and then monitor their
progress. Good problem solvers use a variety of processes and strategies
as they read and represent the problem before they make a plan to
solve it. They then use comprehension strategies to translate the
linguistic and numerical information in the problem and come up with
a solution. For example, good problem solvers may read the problem
more than once and may reread parts of the problem as they progress
and think through the problem. They identify the important information
and even underline parts of the problem.
A systematic, research-based problem-solving program makes problem
solving easy to teach. Students are provided with the processes and
strategies that make problem solving easy to learn, and they become
successful and efficient problem solvers. They also gain a better
attitude toward problem solving when they are successful and develop
the confidence to persevere.