Real World Problem Solving

Start the year with something real!

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As I develop a social entrepreneurship class for next school year, I realize the importance and impact of solving problems without an answer in the textbook. Why not start the year with a project to find a real world problem in whatever discipline you teach? Challenge students to pitch the problem and form groups around similar interests. Their research and creativity on how to solve the problem will necessitate they collaborate, listen to each other, listen to those who are impacted by the problem, develop empathy, and exercise accountability to their team and to those they serve in finding a solution. Character is built through practice. This "out-of-the-gate" assignment will challenge students to practice the character traits they need for future problem solving in school and beyond. 

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Valerie, I think aligning the challenge with course content helps direct while allowing freedom. The Google platform allows for student input tracking on either a Doc or Slideshow. I would also encourage student choice on presentation format. If they found a solution, they could find an organization to work with in the community, or maybe they would share their hypothesis with the class in a presentation, PSA movie, story board, etc. I would love more feedback on how to motivation flagging interest and engagement though. 

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