Exploration and Emergence Institute 2003

Session 9
Trying Out Mulitple Ways to Solve Problems: Individually and Communally

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Welcome to Friday
Date:  2003-07-24 21:26:07
Message Id:  6176
By the time you read this, we'll have made it to Friday. Congratulations and thanks to all for a full, engaging and instructive first week of exploring emergence together. Doug, Kim and I have decided to 'celebrate' this half-way point in the Institute by instituting


a NO-technology morning.

We've all enjoyed playing w/ a range of computer simulations and programs this week, but now we'd like to show you how many of the ideas associated with emergence can also be explored off-line...

which is where we'll go this morning. So:

join us upstairs, away from the computers, where we'll be trying out multiple ways to solve problems, individually and communally. Let's see...
where we end up.

Looking forward--
Anne, Kim and Doug

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  A few (more) grains of sand...
Date:  2003-07-25 13:22:25
Message Id:  6179

In preparation for Kim's presentation this morning about multiple ways of problem-solving, we offered answers to one another's questions. Here's a record of some of what was said in response to

Quite a FEW grains of sand in this growing pile!!
Thanks to all for your contributions--

Name:  Anne Dalke
Username:  adalke@brynmawr.edu
Subject:  Trying Out Multiple Ways to Solve Problems
Date:  2003-07-25 15:16:28
Message Id:  6180

Out of my archiving-mania
(has to do w/ being an English prof...or maybe, just aging and a fear of loss
[FEAR=False Evidence Appearing Real]

here's a record of what Kim taught us this morning:

She invited us to see "what's going on in kids' heads,
beginning w/ something "real we could touch and feel": the Cracker Barrel Peg Game.
We played it separately, several times.
Kim walked us through a successful strategy for "winning" the game,
then invited us to play it again--
but none of us were able to reproduce the strategy successfully.
This was a great example of what happens (so often) in our classrooms:
we TEACH them something, then get frustrated that they don't USE it instantly.

We're calling this the "strategy of inefficiency."

Drawing on Siegler's work about children's problem-solving strategies, Kim explained that

What motivates this change?

How does learning occur?
How can we get kids to be better @ problem-solving?
Some comments during discussion:
Kim ended our session by having us work together on the Peg Game, and then on a nail-and-wood-construction project. What was different when we worked together?

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