Preparing Students and Children To Solve Problems That Don't Yet Exist
I was reading through a PowerPoint article, Did You Know, about some aspects of the world population and technology in the world, and finally some important ideas for education in the future. The concept that really struck home with me is that, “the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004 … We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist… Using technologies that haven’t been invented… In order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” What a daunting task educators and parents have in such a quickly changing world.
In my mind the best way to prepare students and children to solve problems that don’t yet exist is to help them gain the knowledge that is needed, teach some problem solving strategies, foster critical thinking skills, and practice practice, practice. This is why I love Math Word Problems. I’m not a sadistic teacher who enjoys watching my students suffer, I just like math that applies what we’re learning to real life. I remember one assignment we had that asked a question about the cost of food at a restaurant and some students made a calculation error and found that the orange juice was $110. The crazy part was that they submitted that response for a grade. There are only two reasons I can think of for this kind of a response, either they have gone to too many baseball games, or they didn’t think much before submitting their responses.