Global Issues Problem Solving
Global Issues Problem Solving, available for individuals or teams of four students, teaches students how to think creatively about the future. Up to five topics are researched over the academic year and can be used as curriculum, integrated into other content areas, or offered as an extra-curricular option. Annually students vote to determine future topics from three strands - science and technology, business and economics, and social and political issues. Recent topics include nanotechnology, e-commerce, rage and bullying, global interdependence, invasive species, climate change/threat, space junk, and pandemic.
In both team and individual problem solving, students research a topic to gather background information, become mini-experts in the topic, and predict possibilities for the future. Students receive a "future scene," an imagined future based on the topic set 20 to 40 years in the future. The students use research to apply the six-step Future Problem Solving model to the future scene. In exploring challenges, students refine their critical and creative thinking skills, select one problem area to address, produce unique solution ideas, select and utilize criteria to evaluate the solution ideas, and develop an action plan to resolve their selected underlying problem. Students record their work in the provided booklet.
The first two topics are practice problems. FPS coaches are encouraged to introduce a variety of generating and focusing tools and creative and critical thinking strategies. These tools and strategies provide students with options to stimulate creative possibilities and select innovative and effective solutions. A completed booklet is evaluated and scored by certified evaluators and returned with feedback.
"Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines."
- Robert Schuller