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The Keys to Unlocking Students’ Problem-Solving Skills

One of the most challenging aspects of education is that we cannot predict what the world will be like when our children grown up. The best skill we can equip them with is the ability to handle change. That, and the ability to solve problems. No matter how the world changes, I think we can safely agree that problems will always exist to be solved, and it will be the individuals capable of solving these issues that will succeed. The OECD agrees – problem-solving skills are the key to economic success in the future.

The “ability to crack complex problems is key to the economic success in the future”. Today’s students “with poor problem-solving skills will become tomorrow’s adults struggling to find or keep a good job”. – The OECD

We’ll write about handling change another day. In the meantime, let’s look at how we can help our children build up their problem-solving skills. The following infographic is a great place to start. It offers key strategies that can help children unlock their problem-solving potential:

Problem Solving
Image Source: Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

More about Fluid Intelligence:

Since fluid intelligence is the capacity to solve problems without prior knowledge, we should also examine how we can develop it.

More about Critical Thinking:

Critical thinking involves asking questions, defining a problem, examining evidence, analyzing assumptions and biases, avoiding emotional reasoning, avoiding oversimplification, considering other interpretations, and tolerating ambiguity. – The University of Tenessee

Before we can solve problems, we need to be able to think critically about the problem to ensure that the solutions we come up with are viable. Critical thinking is so deeply entwined with problem-solving that the two skills often go hand in hand.


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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