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Problem Solving in
the World of Work
Ronna Magy
TESOL
March 25, 2010
Problem Solving in the World of Work
….. crisis today in America. ... a vast number of
adults need educational services to be ready for the
college and job training our global economy
requires, but our adult education and workforce
skills development programs…….are not meeting
the needs of America’s citizens or its workers.
Reach Higher America
Overcoming Crisis in the US Workforce
National Commission on Adult Literacy 2008
Problem Solving in the World of Work
21st Century skills, knowledge and expertise
 Learning and Innovation Skills
– Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
– Communication and Collaboration
– Creativity and Innovation
Partnership for 21st Century Skills
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Objectives
 Identify workplace issues
 Define stages of problem solving
 Participate in the problem solving process
 Identify problem solving skills “transferable”
from classroom to workplace
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Brainstorm
What problems do students
confront in the workplace?
Problem Solving in the World of Work
21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills




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Collaborate in Teams
Communicate Effectively
Make Decisions
Take Leadership and Initiative
Solve Problems, Use Critical Thinking
Understand Health and Safety Practice
Be Flexible and Adaptable
Use Computers
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Steps in the Problem Solving Process
 Describe or read about a problem
 Discuss the problem
 Suggest ways to solve the problem
 Consider the consequences
 Come to group consensus
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Roles
Leader
Read the problem and possible solutions
Reporter
Report Back
Timekeeper
Inform group members of time needs
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Problem Statement
Pedro has a wife and a child. He works two jobs. On
his gardening job he works days: Monday, Tuesday and
Wednesday. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday he works
from 2:00 pm-11:00 pm as a waiter.
After work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday he
comes home, eats and goes to school to study English.
At school he is happy to be learning, but exhausted from
working. After 1 hour of studying he goes home. He wants
to study more, but he can’t.
What can he do?
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Solutions to Pedro’s Problem
a. Stop working one job so he has time to study.
b. Study distance learning materials at home.
c. Suggest his wife get a job.
d. Bring his child to childcare at school.
e. Other
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Give Your Opinion
Discuss the problem
I think he can (should).........
Consider the consequences
If he does...........then............
Come to group consensus
We think he can (should)…………
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Report Back
Our group thinks he should……..
because………………………
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Beginning Level Problem Solving Procedure
 Discuss Picture Sequence or Picture
 Pose Guided Questions
 Students Read the Story
 Students Suggest Problem Solutions
 Students Give Opinions by Show of Hands
Problem Solving in the World of Work
A Workplace Safety Problem
Problem Solving Procedure
 Describe or Read about the Problem
 Discuss the Problem
 Suggest ways to Solve the Problem
 Consider the Consequences of Each Solution
 Come to Group Consensus
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Transferable Skills
How we can help students transfer the skills
they are learning in school--from the language
classroom to the workplace?
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Transferable Skills: Group Brainstorm
What skills did you learn in today’s workshop
that can be transferred to a job?
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Transferable Skills Guiding Questions:
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Did you communicate with others?
Did you work in a team?
Did you listen to others?
Did you come to group consensus?
Did you lead your group?
Did you discuss the consequences of your decisions?
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Transferable Skills Statements
1.
2.
3.
4.
I can work in a team.
I can listen to others.
I can cooperate with others.
I can be a team leader.
Problem Solving in the World of Work
Ronna Magy
[email protected]
Problem Solving in
the World of Work
Ronna Magy
TESOL
March 25, 2010
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