Our teachers need help establishing problem-solving environments
Our system has adopted a curriculum program that includes non-routine problem solving. Despite some professional development, many teachers continue to use the teaching approach they have always used – for example, quickly helping students who are struggling with the problem by explaining how to do it. How do we establish that problem solving needs a different teaching style and classroom environment?
Redefine the roles and expectations of teacher and students
Every classroom relies on an implicit 'contract' between the teacher and the students, defining what each expects of others. Non-routine problem solving depends on students taking more responsibility for their own understanding, being willing and able to articulate their own thinking and to discuss their ideas with peers. The teacher is a facilitator of this process. This strategy involves making a shift away from the dominance of teacher-directed instruction.