Problem-Solving Teaching

Transfer Learning Strategy: Transfer of new skills to new situations or tasks. Transfer learning [is] the point at which students take their consolidated knowledge and skills and apply what they know to new scenarios and different contexts. It is also a time when students are able to think metacognitively, reflecting on their own learning and understanding

(Source: Hattie, Fisher and Frey (Visible Learning for Mathematics, 2017)).

SOLO Taxonomy: Relational

Understands how ideas fit together and the relationship between them. Still needs scaffolding and instructions to be successful.

About Problem-Based Learning (d=0.35)

In problem-based learning, students often act in groups and decide what they need to learn to resolve a particular problem or question, while teachers act as facilitators.

It usually involves real-world problems to promote student learning of concepts and principles as opposed to direct presentation of facts and concepts.

The aim is also to promote critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills.

About Problem-Solving Teaching (d=0.68)

Problem-solving teaching (d=0.68) involves learning to solve a problem that one does not already know how to solve, and can also involve teaching specific, subject-area focused strategies for attempting to solve such problems.

In this situation, your students are applying their hard-earned knowledge to a novel situation. It is one of the strategies that falls into the Transfer Learning bucket:

Transfer Learning strategies require students to apply what they know to new scenarios and contexts. Students should also be metacognitive, reflective on their learning.

Let's explore a few "PBL Lite" ideas that blend technology into them.

How It Works

The purpose of the stations is to introduce learners to content creation and curation tools via a variety of mini-lessons. These mini-lessons follow a formula:

  • Present a problem

  • From the problem, a task appears

  • Background knowledge or information is shared along with tools that can be used to create and/or aggregate data or information

  • A product of some kind is required that synthesizes information and/or create new stuff

These stations are self-directed and can be employed by groups of learners working in collaboration.


Explore more PBL and 5E Model Enhanced Lessons

Anatomy of PBL Your Jigsaw

Step 1: Establish Teacher Clarity

  • Today we will examine, explore, and reflect how to achieve academic standards. We will do this through the combination of several components. Those components include high-effect size instructional strategies, strategic technology, and pupil-centric coaching efforts.

  • So we can construct learning experiences for students and staff that will lead to accelerated learning and growth.

  • We will know we have it when we reflect on our use of action steps via educational frameworks that provide insight into our work.

Step 2: Chunk Learning into Modules

  • Meet the Problem. “There’s a big school board meeting coming up. Your superintendent needs you at Central Office right away. Drop what you’re working on and head on over there.” Divide problem into stakeholder perspectives or big idea areas that allow for research and learning from variety of sources.

      • Project Station Organization

        • Overview with picture

          • 1: Watch the video

          • 2: Explore source material

          • 3: See examples

        • An expert discussion question

      • Strategy: Use 3-Step Jigsaw to gather information within each Project Station

  • Discuss & Craft Your Solution. Now’s the time to put your heads together to craft the best presentation you can that combines the four key elements.

      • Strategy: Deepen classroom discussion with TRTW, TQE, Think-Pair-Share, etc.

      • Craft a solution and share it with group.

Step 3: Reflect on Your Process

  • Reflect. Take a moment to reflect on the process. Explore the gap between where your organization is now and the ideal and then reflect the ideal in your team’s presentation with steps to get there.