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Training a New Generation of Problem Solvers

Dean Songer Uses Innovation to Solve Problems and Increase Learning 

A recent article entitled, Training a New Generation of Problem Solvers, delves into how Dean Songer uses eco-solutioning to both solve environmental, social, and economic challenges and engage students in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) projects. Using a socio-science issues (SSI) approach—science education focused on problem solving—Songer and her colleagues design and deliver curricula that teach students how to create solutions for increasing biodiversity in their local, mostly urban, neighborhoods.

The eco-solutioning approach has students ask questions about a problem, conduct original data collection and interrogate self-generated evidence, and, finally, has students apply their own data to the problem they are researching. Rather than merely providing content and focusing on understanding, eco-solutioning moves education past mere understanding to original research, analysis, and data application. These innovative and future-oriented curricula are further advanced through a partnership with Gooru’s Learning Navigator, a system that organizes learning activities, assessments, and teacher materials into one interactive system.

Made possible through a generous grant from the National Science Foundation, Dean Songer’s work is preparing students to solve the unprecedented environmental, social, and economic challenges today and tomorrow.  

Last Updated: 10/6/23