TEACHING KIDS TO FIND GEMS IN PROBLEM SOLVING
I was teaching KIDS SOLVE PROBLEMS at the University of Oregon this weekend. My approach teaching future teachers, counselors and others is to give them experiences with 3-D learning that they absorb for themselves and simultaneously learn how to teach preschoolers self-help skills and problem solving.
To begin, we have to know if a problem is because of our own internal frame of reference and attitude or if it really is a problem in the world around us. In addition, we have to know if our attitude can create a bigger problem in the original problem being addressed that needs to be solved.
Next, an opportunity lives in every life problem. Using my expertise with 3-D learning, I had piles of trash on the floor with hidden gems underneath. I pulled beautiful crystal and other rocks out from the symbolic piles of problems to indicate there is something positive – a gem – in every problem. Teaching children to know this is a precious life gift to them.
Next, identifying the problem, while remaining calm with deep breathing, and brainstorming possible solutions, testing them and choosing one are all important factors. What I wanted most for students to understand is that helping young children to be problem solvers is critical in their development and that they should always be encouraged to be CREATIVE in their problem solving. This means they grow and develop instead of just viewing a challenge from one point of view and they can feel an ownership, building confidence, in being a problem solver.
If a solution doesn’t work out, that’s great, too, because mistakes are teachers if we allow ourselves that perspective. It is all good, depending on one’s attitude.
Children are showing up more commonly than not these days into the educational system without good problem solving skills. A great deal of research indicates that substance abuse, domestic violence, criminal activity, inability to build and maintain healthy relationships and much more result in lack of skills, problem solving being a primary deficit.
The signs are in front of us. Let’s teach children about stress and life in a way that builds their confidence as Superkids! Prevention is the answer! YES!!!