Problem solving for a sustainable future
This activity provides opportunities for students to:
- identify problems that may exist as a result of current agricultural practice in their area
- use creative problem-solving methods to devise strategies that could overcome the problems identified.
Science and Society
6.3 Students prepare scenarios to describe the potential long-term effects of changes in biodiversity caused by human action on ecosystems.
Students may live in areas where no problems of any significance exist. In this situation the teacher may need to suggest a number of hypothetical situations for students to respond to, or look at case studies of other areas.
Two models for problem solving are included in the resource sheets. The first model leads students through the problem-solving process and allows them to suggest solutions to the problem. The second model develops the solution and encourages its implementation and evaluation. The model to be used depends on the time available and the existence in the local area of a suitable problem for study by students.
Time: 30 minutes
- Collecting information
- Selecting and justifying
- Summarising and reporting
Working in small groups, students identify a specific problem that may exist in their area. These problems may include issues concerned with:
- pest management
- soil degradation
- catchment pollution
Students follow the steps outlined in the creative problem-solving model (Resource Sheet 6) to develop a plan for overcoming the problem they have identified. Students record their ideas at each stage of the problem-solving process under the headings given in the model (i.e. Step 1, ‘Fact finding’, etc.). Students present their problem and proposed solution to the rest of the class in a short oral presentation.
Gathering information about student learning
Sources of information could include:
- students’ written record of their problem-solving process
- students’ oral presentation of their problem and proposed solution.
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Last updated 3 September 2010