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STEPS IN PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem-solving is a systematic procedure. The following steps are recommended, on the I basis of the procedure suggested by John Dewey, for problem-solving.

  • Recognising the Problem The first step is that the teacher should create a problematic situation in which the students feel the presence of a problem. It is essential that the problem should arise out of the felt needs of the pupils. They must feel and recognise that it is their own problem and that they must solve it.
  • Defining the Problem The problem must be defined in clear and definite terms, so that the pupils may know what exactly is the problem before them. In other words, the problem must be pin- pointed by the pupils.
  • Collecting the Relevant DataThis step is very important and the pupils are required to to a lot of work here. This means that the students are required to collect all relevant information concerning the problem to tel solved. All the aspects of the problem have to be noted and studied. All information which has any relevance to the problem, in hand has to be taken note of because, this is the raw material from which the solution of the problem has to emerge.
  • Organising and Evaluating the Data
    After the data is collected, the pupils are required to arrange and organise the data systematically. The data is also to be properly evaluated so that only the essential data is organised and systematised.
  • Formulation of Hypotheses or Tentative Solutions. On the basis of the organised data, and by making a deep study of the collected information, various tentative or possible solutions will come to the minds of the pupils. The pros and cons of the tentative solutions are studied carefully with the objective of finding the best solution.
  • Arriving at the Final Solution The tentative solutions are discussed and weighed one by one. The relevant good and bad points concerning the various tentative solutions are studied. Those possible solutions which are not correct or practicable are discarded and eliminated one by one. By this procedure, the students will be left with the one best solution of the problem.
  • Verification of the Solution The best solution arrived at may be verified once again to be definite about its validity. This may be done by mental or actual application of the best possible solution.

ROLE OF THE TEACHER

The teacher is to play an important role in problem solving procedure. He has to create a problematic situation and helps the pupils to locate and select the problem to be solved. He is also to keep in mind that the problem selected for solution has educational significance and value. He is also to see that the problem is according to the mental level of the pupils.

Further, the teacher has to guide the pupils, in the collecting of the relevant information and data about the problem from various sources. Thus, he has to pay individual attention to the pupils and help them in evaluating and organising the collected data. The teacher is also to carefully supervise their work and see that each pupil makes his own efforts to solve the problem. Thus, we see that the teacher has to play a very important and significant role in problem- solving procedure.

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