Tiger News

Headlines: Problem Solving in the Upper Elementary School

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

I have spent most of my educational career thinking about what makes education "sticky." That is, why do some of the students I teach come back and recall a lesson or a concept they learned in my class decades later? Moreover, why do some students walk out of my G period and forget most of that day's lesson before they hit the first floor of the building? I am convinced that the answer to these questions is found in the pedagogical approach a teacher takes toward teaching and learning.

When a teacher is able to create a well crafted lesson that asks their students to solve real world problems; when that lesson asks students to think critically and pursue the answers to deep questions that have relevant and relatable meaning; when students get to work and learn not just from their teacher, but from their peers; and when students have an opportunity to apply their learning to create new knowledge—the learning becomes sticky. Actually, we have known this for many years, as most elementary education takes this pedagogical approach. What is interesting is that as children get older, some schools do not nurture that natural inquiry—not at GCDS.

This short video highlights exactly the kind of learning that is deep, joyful, rigorous, and indeed, sticky! Enjoy!