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by Carol Frederick Steele
Table of Contents
All teachers face problems regarding curriculum and instruction. Problem solving is difficult. When a situation frustrates us, we want to fix it. Sometimes we try the first thing that comes to mind. Our effort may solve the problem, cause no change at all, or make things worse. Even when we give the matter much thought, we can't be sure we have found the solution until we take action and look at the result. Searching for solutions is one of the reasons that Deborah Meier, in The Power of Their Ideas
(2002), says that teaching is far more intellectually challenging than she ever expected it to be.
Over time a teacher can build strong problem-solving skills. For example, teachers look for ways to help every student succeed by presenting material differently or adjusting the lesson. Good problem solving usually includes continual reframing of the questions teachers ask themselves, because redefining a problem generally leads to new approaches. This chapter looks at how well instructors accept the intellectual challenge of continually seeking ways to improve their presentation of material.
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