Teach learners using knowledge to solve problems
We learn to know, to understand, to solve problems and to create values. Then, we ought to know how to apply knowledge effectively and to discover new know-how. In this essay, I try to answer the first questions: how to apply knowledge effectively to solve problems?
As Einstein once said that given 60 minutes, he would use 59 out to understand the problem, then use only 1 minute to solve the problem.
In order to solve problem, one must understand the problem. One need general knowledge and domain-specific knowledge to decipher the problem from surface to the deep level. Without understanding the problem, nobody can solve the problem. This phenomenon has been observed by teachers around the world. When students are given a problem, they must try to understand the problem and the connection among facts, concepts mentioned and related before solving it.
As learning to become professional, one must learn to use domain-specific knowledge to solve problems. At the beginning, learners learn to solve small imaginary problems in textbooks by using knowledge. These small problems should be designed as close as possible to real life problems.
Next, learners learn to solve bigger and real-life problems by using domain-specific knowledge. This will enhance their professional know-how and how, when and where to apply. This is best learned in real life context, doing internship in industries and businesses, for instance.
Furthermore, learners should learn to recognize or formulate problems themselves and solve them. In this step, they learn to prioritize problems to solve.
Because many problems in real-life is multidisciplinary, learners should learn to solve problem in team, working with members from other disciplines. They will learn working in collaboration, they will see the connection among different domain of knowledge. By this way, they recognize their gap of know-how and the need to work with other for the betterment of our society.
Who should teach learners to solve problems?
Teachers are those who know well how to solve problems from theoretical knowledge and experience. Problems should be imaginary and real-life context. In this way, the learning and teaching is the most effective. If teachers do not know solving problems from domain-specific knowledge, in both contexts, it is hard to teach students do it. It is a wasted time for both learners and teachers. Goals of education and training will not be fulfilled.