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Artwork by Monica Acedo.
5 Educators on Teaching Creative Problem-Solving in the Classroom

5 Educators on Teaching Creative Problem-Solving in the Classroom

As educators work to prepare their students for the careers of the future, it’s not just about learning the facts anymore. Students need hands-on experience tackling tough problems in creative ways. For teachers, this means adjusting teaching methods, and stepping back to let students take control.

We talked to five pioneering educators at SXSW EDU about how they teach the skills for creative problem-solving. They shared strategies and insights and told us why this new model for teaching matters so much right now.

Dan Ryder is an English teacher and improv coach at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Maine. He uses a design-thinking mindset in the classroom, and challenges students to find solutions and figure out what happened when things went wrong.

Hadley Ferguson is the executive director of the EdCamp.org Foundation. She told us that creative problem-solving starts by stepping out of hierarchical thinking. It’s all about creating an environment where students work together, everybody’s voice is welcome, and it’s OK to make mistakes.

Kerry Gallagher is a digital learning specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. She explained how teaching creative problem-solving skills helps students build a foundation for inspiring, engaging careers.

Manuel Herrera is the 1:1 coordinator and design space facilitator for Affton schools in St. Louis, Missouri. According to Manuel, teaching creative problem-solving means helping students see all the elements of a problem. In Manuel’s model, teachers step back as students work together and learn to take control.

Rich Lombardo is an ed tech at Eanes ISD. For Rich, teaching creative problem-solving is about allowing students to have a voice in their projects. Teachers become the facilitators.

For more on how teachers see the future of education and how they’re bringing that future to the classroom now, check out our Back to School collection.

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