Acronyms are handy ways to remember ideas. Looking back at the forum postings I was reminded of the acronym IDEAL. The IDEAL strategy is used in problem solving. The IDEAL way to solve problems has five steps.
I-Identify the problem
D-Define and represent the problem
E-Explore possible strategies or solutions
A-Act on a selected strategy or solution
L-Look back and evaluate
Problems involve reorganizing how you think about things, and what you do about them. When working through problems, some students are unsure of themselves. This lack of confidence may hamper their learning. Students need to develop the ability to apply problem-solving skills. It is my impression that students are overly dependent upon teachers in the classroom. Many students are keen to let someone else do the thinking for them in order to solve problems or students lack the confidence in their abilities to solve problems on their own. In an era of advancing technology in medical radiography, the ability to problem solve is essential to improve the quality of clinical service. Problem solving is one of those skills I aspire to have my students develop. I believe problem-solving should be a very real part of the curriculum. It implies that students can take on some of the responsibility for their own learning and can take personal action to solve problems, resolve conflicts, discuss alternatives, and focus on thinking as a vital element of the curriculum. Problem-solving skills provide students with opportunities to use their newly acquired knowledge in meaningful, real-life activities and assists them in working at higher levels of thinking. How do we convince students that improving their problem-solving skills is important? I think an important goal of education should be to teach students problem-solving skills. We should teach student’s problem-solving strategies and encourage students to reflect on the problem-solving strategies that they use. I look forward to introducing the IDEAL problem-solving strategy into my class to help students approach and resolve problems. It is a great tool to utilize in undertaking metacognition.


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