Trying to figure out the best way to tackle a problem can be a real challenge for us all. But learning how to problem solve is an essential life skill for young people to familiarise themselves with now, to boost employability.
The notion of problem solving underpins many of the key curriculum subjects making it a valuable skill to help improve overall academic performance. Not only that, the practical competences it brings about play a really important role in day-to-day life when it comes to making difficult choices. For example, you sent your CV off to an employer a few months listing your grades and personal achievements but you’ve still not heard anything, you give them a call and they say you don’t have the right qualifications – what do you do next?
What we’ve found is that approaching a problem in a logical and structured manner makes it much easier to achieve a positive outcome. That’s why we’ve created a process to help support young people problem solve which is based on a six-step process adapted from computational thinking.
You can find out more about this process here. You’ll see a short film which demonstrates that problems are so much easier to solve if you simply break them down, alongside a set of classroom resources detailing activities to help students get familiar with this process. In groups, ask students to discuss various employability-related scenarios, once this is underway, throw them a curveball. This presents them with a potential problem and they need to consider the best way to deal with it, taking into account this systematic thought process.
Why not use these resources in a lesson this week and further support your students on their journey to the workplace.
Or for more problem solving resources to use yourself or to share with teachers, young people, parents or others, visit our problem solving hub.