problem solving 60

250 word reply with references

Based on your readings for younger children, is it better to use make-believe settings for problem solving or their own community for problem solving? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach? Give some examples describing the differences.

When considering how to teach problem solving strategies, it is effective to identify the most effective method to do so. The two ways we are considering in this situation is to teach children problem-solving strategies through make-believe situations, or situations that are happening in their community.

When considering make-believe situations, I often think about situations that could happen or have happened, but the students were not around for. For example, asking students to imagine their life on the Oregon Train and asking students to make decisions as they learn about the culture, customs, and topography of the land they are traveling, would be a make-believe situation (Chapin, 2013). The students still benefit from learning problem solving strategies, but the information they learn, may not affect them right away. I personally like make-believe settings because they are engaging and usually creative.

Thinking about teaching problem solving strategies in relationship to real, community events, there are different things to consider. The students in this situation are either provided with, or come up with a way to solve a problem in their own community. The students are still learning problem solving skills, but get to see how their thinking will benefit others. For example, if a community problem arose, such as, there are not enough coats for children in the wintertime, at their school, then the students can act and help their community. The students identified the problem, and can begin to make a list of ways to help. The students will then identify the advantages and disadvantages of each idea, choose the best one, and act upon their decision (Chapin, 2013). However, part of the planning and reasoning stage is to reevaluate the decision and see if any consequences come from it (Chapin, 2013). In this situation, it is hard to identify negatives, but if the problem needing to be solved came with higher risk, there could be consequences in real-life that students would have to face.

I personally like using real community situations for students to practice problem-solving strategies because it is more relatable. It also provides the students with a way to help their community while seeing the problem –solving strategy steps play out. I have used many situations with my class that have been make-believe scenarios because they are quicker to accomplish, but the ones I have done with my class, such as a coat drive, food drive, or creating a garden, have been the most memorable.


Chapin, J. R. (2013). Elementary social studies a practical guide(Eighth ed.). Pearson.

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