Problem-Solving Approach

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Summary
This article’s focus is a review of the investigations of Bettina Lankard Brown (1998) on using problem-solving approach in vocational educational and their relationship to contextual learning environments. She argues that problem solving is way to relate classroom learning to real-life situations or problems. Problem solving has been emphasized as a means of helping students to develop decision-making skills as a main stream of education. The problem-solving method of teaching incorporates problem-solving activities, but places the responsibility for learning on the student. It requires teachers to deviate from teacher-centred learning to teacher-student based learning, where teacher’s role is as a facilitator. It requires the use of problems that have real meaning to students, thus motivating them to reach a solution. There are four main features of problem-based learning which are Engagement, Inquiry, Solution building and Reflection. However, as some teacher reluctant to digress from traditional teaching methods to incorporate new teaching philosophy, the incorporation of problem solving approach in teaching fails. Yet, learning style is another factor to manipulate educator’s use of problem-based strategies. In order to endorse problem solving approach, teachers need to improve their interpersonal skills and group dynamics. They should adapt instructional strategies, resources, and activities to promote students' development of basic skills, thinking skills, and personal qualities. Using a team approach and giving reason for instructional technology used is suggested as problem based activities provide the context for learning particular skills. The problem-solving approach has been successfully used in many fields. Thus, the problem-solving approach teaching has proven to be more effective in improving student achievement.
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