We all have choices and options, but
bad decisions can waste a lot of time, and we only have so much
time. You don't want to miss out on opportunities because you
were not realistic in your planning. It's good to be organized,
but you also have to be efficient and effective and have a good
understanding of your goals and a good understanding of your
As a human you have a finite amount of time, use it well. And
remember that all those little moments of wasted time add up in
the end. You could lose days and even years of missed potential.
If you don't solve the
Root of the Problem, then you will still have a
We must have immediate
solutions when solving problems and long-term solutions when
solving problems. We must also learn how to solve problems
before they present themselves, especially problems that are
critical to our survival.
Foresight Having ideas on possible solutions to problems
that you can anticipate will save you time and energy. One of
the first problem solving skills we need to have is Learning
Prioritize. This will be
one of the first things that you need to solve.
Prioritizing has to be done
everyday and sometimes several times a day, so defining your
priorities is essential. Other wise you will waste precious time
doing things at
Random with no real purpose. This is when mistakes can be
made that could have serious consequences.
Once you define your
priorities you have to balance your priorities in the most
logical order that will maximize your time and available
resources. Knowing what needs to be done first and knowing
what needs to be done next is crucial. You also have to be
prepared and ready to solve new problems that may possibly
change your priorities. So knowing how to approach problems is
critical. What can you teach and what could be learned about
this problem must be considered when approaching and evaluating
problems. You must also learn to Recognize Variables to
certain problems (low priority problem, high priority
problem, new problem, old problem, risks, threats and options).
Two key elements to problem solving and prioritizing are having
Self-Discipline and the Ability to Focus.
So if you have not yet learned to focus or if you lack
self-discipline then these two skills will be two of your top
priorities. Prioritizing could take just several seconds or
several minutes to accomplish (immediate solutions). But
sometimes prioritizing could take several hours or several days
to accomplish (long-term solutions).
So knowing how much time
you have is critical.
the next important problem solving skill to learn.
Goals and a timeframe of when they should be accomplished have
to be determined.
I try to plan ahead as best as I can,
and I usually
don't cross bridges until I get to
But in order for me to focus on my goals, I know it's impossible
to plan for everything. So I try not to waste too much time
preparing for things that may never happen.
But I also don't want to ignore the possibility that things can
happen. Believing that I will be able to overcome what ever
challenges that come my way, is fine. As long as I except the
fact that mistakes can be easily made when you are
confident. I plan as best as I can. And when I learn how to
plan better, I do.
cross a bridge till you come to it"
is a metaphor for waiting until a vague or low-probability
problem arises so you can learn more about what the problem is,
before trying to solve or overcome it.
The following sentences paraphrase various aspects of the
"Wait for ill-defined problems to be clarified before dealing
"Don't be concerned about distant-future problems until they
become near-present problems."
"Don't try to solve that problem until you are prepared to deal
"Don't waste your time preparing for all potential problems,
because most of them will no longer be problems when you get to
them, or because conditions will have changed by then."
"Don't work on that problem until the scheduled time."
Problem Solving Skills
also need to expand, improve and evolve as more information and
knowledge is gained at each grade level and at each level of
comprehension so that it can cover the many different aspects,
and specialized areas of unique problems.
You first have to be aware of the
mistake or problem before you can correct it.
Just knowing about
Cause and Effect is not enough. You also have to fully
Consequences and the
Results of actions. You have to see the
Positive Results and the
Negative Results in a
Side-by-Side Comparison so that you can easily confirm good
from bad and right from wrong (Pros & Cons). Positive and
negatives results would be based on
Evidence that can be
Testing so that the highest degree of accuracy can be
Personal Opinions cannot be used in
because Facts and Evidence have a much higher percentage of
accuracy then just
List of Effects
You don't have to be a
MacGyver to be good at
"Even a Small Leak will Sink a Great Ship."
You want kids to struggle a little bit
to figure things out, as long as
you have kids figure things out that benefit them. This way they
learn how problem solving is extremely important and extremely
valuable. Figuring things out that don't benefit you will not
inspire you to learn.
"Good reasoning skills are extremely
important to have, but if you are not reasoning the things that
matter, then knowing how to reason wont matter."
"There are some problems that you can run
away from, but there are problems that will follow you no matter
where you go. So learning how to solve problems is an incredibly
useful tool and skill to have."
Problem Solving Tips
Avoid asking the wrong questions, take time to define each
problem carefully before trying to solve it.
Ask yourself lots of different questions about the nature of the
Strive to look at problems from different perspectives and
generate multiple solutions.
When evaluating solutions, take time to think about how you
should choose between options.
Evaluate potential solutions carefully and thoroughly against a
Once you choose a solution to a problem, develop an
implementation plan with the sequence of events necessary for
completing the problem solving task.
After a solution has been implemented, immediately look for ways
to improve the idea and avoid future problems.
Address any belief issues and other consequences of the proposed
solution so that others will understand and support the
Systematically search for issues that may become problems in the
Sometimes even small problems often become much bigger in scope,
and thus very difficult to solve, but not impossible.
Remember that making a decision is not the end of the
Skills to Problem Solving
Capstone projects should be about working on Real Problems, problems
that need solving, like problems that are plaguing the world and
communities. This should involve extensive original
investigation, methods of inquiry, critical thinking skills,
creativity, scholarly research,
presentation, reading and writing skills and so on.
And these skills need to be
measured, tested and confirmed.
Problems should not be considered to big to solve for this is a
part of the learning experience. Capstone projects should
prepare students for reality, otherwise you are just wasting
time, people and resources. Just teaching
Innovation will not be enough.
In order to solve the plethora of problems in our
world you first have to educate people on how to be problem
solvers, then and only then will our problems be solved.
more education quotes
Capstone Project for Basic Knowledge 101
The First Problem: # 1
How would you Teach it? How
would you Learn it? How Would you Test it?
Capstone Project # 2
Students need to create ways to improve education on all levels.
To accomplish this, students must collect the worlds most
important and the most valuable knowledge and information that
is available. Then design a curriculum based on that knowledge
and information. This would include creating computerized
courses and videotaping
the best and most effective teaching lessons, and so on. Then
Why Improve Education?
Open Source Curriculum?
The Second Problem: # 2
Once we have created the perfect education, students have to
create ways to make sure that every person on the planet has
access to a good education. The more educated and aware people
are the more prepared they will be to solve problems. Educated
people will also have the skills that are needed to improve
their quality of life and improve the quality of life for
Laptops and USB Flash Memory Drives
Methods / Teaching Methods
Open Source Education Resources
The Third Problem: # 3
Clean water for everyone, healthy food for everyone, clean and
safe homes for everyone, clean and safe electricity for
jobs that make a positive difference for everyone.
Big 5 Needs
Gilding: The Earth is full (youtube)
Of course the problems in # 3, along with the thousands of
other problems that people are faced with today, will never
improve unless we fix problems
# 1 and
# 2. Team
effort between schools is a must when working on this project. Working as a
team will save time, people and resources, and at the same time,
teach students about one of the important aspects of problem solving,
which is teamwork.
We'll call this "The Logic Movement" "if
you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the
Capstone Research Projects Ideas
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single
"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by
the same level of thinking that created them."
"Problems can't be solved unless they are identified"
"I see most
problems as just a puzzle, a puzzle I must learn to solve.
So when a computer problem arises I usually say "How do I solve
this puzzle and where would be the best place to start?" So can
learning how to solve
complex puzzles teach us about
Problem Solving? Of
course. Problem solving is not a problem, it's a part of
"Everything on this planet that is alive today is a direct result
of information being passed forward and shared with the next
generation of its species"...More
"To assume what other people are assuming is a
Guessing Game I like to
Back with a backwards brain is
as useless as looking
Forward with a backwards brain.
Backwards Brain Meaning: Making assumptions based on outdated,
incorrect or insufficient information.
You don't have a question If you have
Errors in your
your question makes
No Sense. There's no
to it's timing and it applies to situations of little importance."
"Why would you force other people to fix your problems just
because you don't want to take the time to fix your own
problems, problems that you could easily fix yourself? This is
not the same as asking for help. It's just that when people
transfer or force their personal problems to other people without their
permission, it only creates more problems."
Chess is like Life, but Life is
not a Chess Game
will not prepare you for life, but
and Life do have some Similarities. You start out with a fixed
number of choices
but with each choice you make, you will either have more choices
or less choices, which depends on the outcome of the previous
choice. So depending on how your opponent moves, or how the
environment reacts, will determine your choices. So there
are good moves and bad moves, and one wrong move could have
devastating consequences, just like in life. You can plan for the future, but the
future may not be there, because of how your opponent reacts or
how the world changes. So you must be prepared for changes in
life and learn how to adapt to these new changes, so that you
can make the appropriate moves or choices and be ready to make
new plans. In life, and in the game of chess, you may have to
take some risks, but they must be
calculated risks, but even
you must be prepared for the mistakes and the effects
that are the result of your actions. As the game progresses, as
life progresses, with every move or choice you make, this
means that you have one less choice, and eventually you will
have fewer and fewer choices, but the game is not over. Ending
in a draw is when life and humans have agreed that this game
cannot be won by either player. You may have a billion options,
but each move is as important as the last.
Just being good at chess will not
make you good at life,
but chess could make you a better problem solver. Sometimes you
make sacrifices, and sometimes you have to give up
things in order to gain things. But this does not mean that you
are less effective or more in danger. It's just that your
options have changed. Chess is also a horrible reminder of how
cruel people, society and governments can be. Forcing people
to always have to
be on the defensive, and forcing them to react
to life, instead of living life. This gives people very little chance to make progress,
unless people can see that their ability to defend themselves will
eventually end in a draw, which will prove that even if people
get themselves into a mess of trouble, they still have options,
so don't give up, because if you do give up, then you will
eventually have no options, and you will eventually lose, as
many civilizations have done in the past. So chess is like life,
but life is not a chess game.
What makes a good chess player?
Someone who can see the farthest into the future and calculate
what events could happen, and then apply a particular action, or
chess move, based on that information and knowledge, while at the
same time, correctly adapt to changes as they happen, and have
the ability to recalculate what events could happen based on
those changes. So can
Chess be used as a learning tool for problem solving? Of
course it can. The more you can see into the future, the better
your odds will be in making a good decision, and on top of that,
it also makes you more aware that things could change at
anytime, so you have to be ready to change the path that you're on.
And chess is not the only
game that can teach you problem solving.
Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
Chess Hall of Fame
"The one who can see the farthest
into the future and make the
necessary adjustments when things
change, will always win."
In order to be a really good chess player you need to see
several moves ahead, which is one of the key factors when
solving problems. You need to see into the future goal, you need
to see all the steps involved, you need to see the possible
obstacles that you may have, you need to know your options if
things change. But just because you're good at chess does not
mean that you're good at solving problems. You need to learn
"If a computer can play chess, then a
computer can use chess pieces as symbols to represent all kinds
of different information."
People make the mistake sometimes of zooming in to much on
problems that they can't see the whole picture. They seem to
focus to much on unique details. When you're zoomed in to far
all you can see is a small part of a much larger issue. You need
to zoom out and backup far enough to see the whole picture from
the beginning and be able to see all the way to a possible
outcome. Being able to see a single pixel can be useful
sometimes, but just seeing things close is like putting on
blinders, which makes it impossible to understand what you're
really looking at. So you need to zoom out to see all the pixels
that create a picture. This way you can begin to understand what
you're truly looking at. You have to see all the levels, all the
time frames, and all the different angles. As you
zoom out more you will notice that the more you see the more
your questions will change at each level of focus. So if you
never zoom out enough you will never know if you're asking all
the right questions.
"Remember, just solving one problem does
not solve all your problems. You have to see the whole picture
in order to understand it correctly and collectively, meaning,
people acting together as well as seeing the world as a
collective, a whole, but made up of different elements."
"Don't worry, we'll figure it out, we can figure out almost anything."
When solving problems sometimes you have
to stop, step back and take some time to think. Think about the
problem and study it carefully. Think about all the different ways that you can go
about solving this problem. You don't want to bang your head against the
wall and try to solve problems to quickly because you may end up
wasting time, or make it worse, or not totally fix the problem,
because quick fixes never last. Plus, when you're feeling
stressed or when you're struggling to solve a problem, your
thinking becomes less clear and you become less focused. So walk
around or lay down, you will be amazed on how much you can
learn when you're
can be solved, but that's easier said then done. There are
several skills and many things that you have to learn in order
to be a good problem solver. There are skills and knowledge that
make you good at asking the right questions at the right time.
So just knowing that every problem can be solved is not going to
benefit you. You have to learn how to solve problems. I can say
that the internet is the greatest tool in the world, but if you
don't know how to use the Internet effectively then the internet
is not the greatest tool in the world. So that is a problem in
itself, but this is a problem that we can solve.
Just knowing that there are answers to every question that you
have is not going to help you. You have to know what questions
to ask and when to ask those questions. And that is a skill you
need to learn. So here we go...
A state of difficulty that needs to be
resolved. A question raised for consideration or solution. A
source of difficulty.
Problem (wiki) (accident,
Find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the
meaning of. Figure out. Answer Correctly.
A statement that solves a problem or explains how to
solve the problem. A method for solving a problem. Work out in
The successful action of solving a problem. The set of values
that give a true statement when substituted into an equation.
Finding a solution to a problem / Something settled or resolved;
the outcome of decision making. A statement that solves a
problem or explains how to solve the problem. A decision to do
something or to behave in a certain manner.
Reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation. Settle
conclusively. Reach a decision. Find the solution.
Be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity. Be
satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose
A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the
An event that occurs when something passes from one state or
phase to another. Become different in some particular way,
without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics
or essence. The result of alteration or modification
Exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or
category. A difference that is usually pleasant..
An act of formulating a program for a definite course of action.
The act or process of drawing up plans or layouts for some
project or enterprise. The cognitive process of
Thinking about what you
will do in the event of something happening. Have the will and
intention to carry out some action. Make a design of;
plan out in systematic, often graphic form.
A way of doing something, especially a systematic way; implies
an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps)
A condition of regular or proper arrangement.
Instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts
designed to work as a coherent entity. An organized structure
for arranging or classifying. A procedure or process for
obtaining an objective. An ordered manner; orderliness by virtue
of being methodical and well organized.
Positive Feed Back Loop
Make something up on the spot, or figure it out as you go.
Manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand.
Perform without preparation.
An event causing distress or pain. To
cause inconvenience or discomfort to.
A situation from which extrication is
difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one.
Extrication: The act of releasing from a
snarled or tangled condition.
The set of facts or circumstances that
surround a situation or event. Information that should be kept
in mind when making a decision. A condition that accompanies or
influences some event or activity.
Extenuating Circumstances (wiki)
The prevailing context that influences
the performance or the outcome of a process. The set of
circumstances that affect someone's welfare. A state at a
particular time. An assumption on which rests the validity or
effect of something else
Information that should be kept in
mind when making a decision. The procedure that is varied in
order to estimate a variable's effect by comparison with a
control condition. Odds
The general state of things; the
combination of circumstances at a given time. A complex or
critical or unusual difficulty.
Situationism (psychology) (wiki)
A condition or state of affairs almost
beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to
bear or overcome.
A factor causing trouble in achieving
a positive result or tending to produce a negative result.
A demanding or stimulating situation.
Sometimes a Solution to a Problem
Creates other Problems
that's not problem solving, that's
Some people tend to solve their problems by making other people
suffer. If someone steals from you, you shouldn't steal from
someone else to make up for your loss. All humans are good at
solving problems, but it's the way that some people solve their
problems that ends up being the most important part of the
problem solving process. If solving your problem causes other
people to have problems, then that's not problem solving, that's
Blame shifting, and that's
Externalization. These are the
crimes of corporations, politicians, and even some citizens.
Why are you forcing other people to pay for your comforts? Why
are you stealing from future generations by exploiting resources
poison water and land as a result. You have to know that
some of your actions are indirectly murdering people now, and
murdering people in the future. If you don't understand this,
you need to remove your head from your ass and start
learning, and stop killing.
Somebody Else's Problem
Solution Caused Problems
Diffusion of Responsibility
If people are smart enough to know how to steal, then they are
smart enough to find better ways of doing things that require no
stealing at all. Options and choices are there, but you need to
learn what they are.
Don't make problems worse
Punishing a person, because of a problem, is illogical. If you
want to help someone solve a problem, then help them, you can't
help people solve their problems when you're adding to their
problems. It's just common sense,
helping someone is a lot better then
"You don't make things better by making
Positive Feed Back Loop
"Replacing worn-out systems with more of
the same outdated processes, is wasteful and negligent."
"What you're doing for work should be
solving problems, and not adding to our problems or ignoring our
problems. So why would you add to our problems when we can be
solving our problems?" Instead of making problems, you
should be solving problems.
Sometimes the first solution to a problem does not always solve
the problem, or solve the problem completely. Problem solving
takes more then one try. And the solution itself can also can be
improved and modified. So the first solution is seldom the last
solution you will have. Problem solving also needs periodic
maintenance, because things change. Problem solving is an
ongoing process. Don't ever think that something is totally
fixed. Just because you solved a problem today doesn't mean that
that same problem will be solved tomorrow, because things
change. That is one of the main
reasons why problem solving skills are extremely important.
Ad Hoc generally signifies a solution designed for a
specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to
be able to be adapted to other purposes.
Tending to hinder the achievement of a goal. Behavior that goes
against the goals of an organization or community.
Anything that is more of an "obstacle" than a help in the
achieving of a productive project or an objective. A situation
that prevents a group, organization, or other collective
entities from performing or accomplishing its originally stated
"When you see a problem, solve it, Don't
run away from a problem and pretend that it will go away on its
own, because you could create more problems."
"If you ever need a helping hand, sometimes
you have to use the hand that's at the end of your arm, because
some of life's greatest tests we have to face alone."
"You might see the problem, but you might
not see all the other problems that are related to that problem.
Problems are like weeds, if you don't get to the
root of the problem, then the problem will keep coming back.
And if everyone is spreading the seeds of these problems, then
those problems will never go away."
“if it ain't broke, don't fix it.”
but that stupid saying does not say to improve something before
it does break.