Give Me A Real Problem

Give students a current event (real problem) and give them space and time to discover/research the problem and see where it take them.

Photo of James Campbell
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What if you give students topics to wrestle with that are currently hot topics in the news? What if you gave them space and time to research these topics from various angles?  What if you as a teacher did not answer every question for them but allow their questions to lead them to further investigations?  Where would they take their learning?

The hope is giving students time and freedom to work on a "hot" topic will lead them to see all sides of the story and a possible call to action.  My students have studied the events that happen as a result Ottoman Empire  killing and exiling  Armenian people during the late 1800 and 1915 - 1922. This research lead to some very heated debates.  So the idea is that students can develop strong arguments and  greater understanding if the topic sparks curiosity.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

When topics cause division or great interest, it will spark students desire to know more about it.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • High School (9-12)

Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love it. - 100%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dan Ryder

What if students had to play connect the dots between an historical problem and a contemporary one -- between a global and a local? How might that enhance the meaning making? How might it detract from the original intent, though?

Photo of James Campbell

Yes I think that will allow us to make the Design Thinking process more meaningful.

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