ERIC Number: ED355040
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Problem Solving in Early Childhood Classrooms. ERIC Digest.
Problem solving is the foundation of young children's learning. The role of the early childhood teacher in facilitating problem-solving behavior in children involves trusting children's attempts to learn through problem solving and maintaining a classroom environment that encourages problem solving. Curricula that foster children's problem solving are those that encourage children's decision making, provide a framework for integrated learning, use a project approach to facilitate cooperative learning, and organize work through themes and units. Teachers can foster children's problem solving by providing enlarged blocks of learning time, rearranging classroom spaces to facilitate cooperation, and providing a variety of materials for children's use. A model of problem solving in an early childhood classroom involves four steps: (1) identifying the problem; (2) brainstorming solutions; (3) choosing and implementing one solution; and (4) evaluating the solution used. In order to determine whether a particular problem is appropriate for children, teachers can ask whether the problem is interesting, can be solved at a variety of levels, requires new decisions to be made, and requires a solution that can be evaluated. Encouraging children's problem solving in these ways equips them with a lifelong skill useful in all areas of learning. (BC)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.