Transitional Education and Consulting Services
There are hundreds of approaches to problem solving and most of them offer a somewhat linear and sequential approach. The first key to becoming a more accomplished and confident problem solver is the expansion of creative thinking skills. Solving word problems is a thought process that requires multiple skills. Knowledge, experience, and insight are applied to new problems that may fall on a continuum that runs from very familiar to totally unfamiliar. Problem solving in engineering and technology is more than listing givens and unknowns then solving simultaneous equations. Students often struggle because they donít know when to name an unknown or how to set up the equations that will be helpful in finding a solution. Solving word problems involves the process skills of recognition, concept formation, judgment, comparison & choice, analysis, and a nested level of problem solving. It is not a linear process, but it is still strategic. Students are not given enough instruction and practice in problem solving methodology.