Students learn the processes of effective problem solving with this research-based resource. Systematic instruction gives struggling learners a framework for problem solving and helps them generalize their learning for lifelong results.
- Solve problems independently and effectively
- Develop flexible thinking
- Evaluate problem solving and learn from experience
The units and tasks within the units are arranged in increasing complexity. Specific targeted skills are:
• identifying and stating problems
• identifying causes and solutions
• predicting results of solutions
• choosing good solutions
• evaluating problem solving
• giving suggestions and advice
• solving problems
Age-appropriate problem-solving scenario(s) are presented with a short story and a picture. Students hone their skills in specific problem-solving strategies by answering multiple choice questions, evaluating solutions, explaining their answers, ranking choices, and making predictions. Learners with language and cognitive impairments learn workable, step-by-step problem-solving methods.
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- Developing reasoning skills encourages critical thinking and meta-awareness of internal thought processes. Reasoning skills support students' logical judgments based on conscious reflection and sensitivity to multiple viewpoints (Little, 2002).
- Reasoning and critical thinking are necessary skills for competence across the curriculum. They require students to examine, relate, and analyze all aspects of a problem or situation. Students engaged in critical thinking must make associations that connect problems with their prior knowledge (Pellegrini, 1995).
- Questioning is the core of critical reflection. It prompts students to engage in a research process that fosters higher-order thinking skills and social-moral attitudes (Daniel et al., 2005). Using specific, metacognitive vocabulary while questioning and prompting students to solve problems encourages them to examine their thinking skills and strategies (Costa & Kallick, 2008).
- Explicitly teaching and reinforcing inference-making leads to better outcomes in overall text comprehension, text engagement, and metacognitive thinking (Borné, Cox, Hartgering, & Pratt, 2005).
- Social cognitive intervention can improve the social functioning of students with Asperger's or high-functioning autism. Training tasks can include interpreting verbal/nonverbal actions or intentions, understanding social reciprocity, and adjusting verbal/nonverbal behavior according to social cues (Crooke, Hendrix, & Rachman, 2007).
- Students need extensive practice in solving problems independently in order to develop critical thinking (Paul, 1990).
No-Glamour Problem Solving incorporates these principles and is based on expert professional practice.
Borné, L., Cox, J., Hartgering, M., & Pratt, E. (2005). Making inferences from text [Overview]. Dorchester, MA: Project for School Innovation. Costa, L., & Kallick, B. (Eds.). (2008). Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Crooke, P.J., Hendrix, R.E., & Rachman, J.Y. (2007). Teaching social thinking to children with ASD: An effectiveness study. Presentation at the ASHA Convention, November.
Daniel, M.F., Lafortune, L., Pallascio, R., Splitter, L., Slade, C., & de la Garza, T. (2005). Modeling the development process of dialogical critical thinking in pupils aged 10 to 12 years. Communication Education, 54(4), 334-354. Little, C. (2002). Reasoning as a key component of language arts curricula. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 13(2), 52-59.
Paul, R. (1990). Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world. Rohnert Park, CA: Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique.
Pellegrini, J. (1995). Developing thinking and reasoning skills in primary learners using detective fiction. Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 1. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1995/1/95.01.05.x.html