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Solving complex problems

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1 Solving complex problems
Class 3 Chapter 3 Solving complex problems

2 Thinking critically about a problem
What is the problem? What are the alternatives? What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of each alternative? What is the solution? How well is the solution working?

3 Activity 1: Analyzing a problem you solved
Describe in specific detail an important problem you have solved recently. Explain how you went about solving the problem. What were the steps strategies, and approaches you used to understand the problem and make a decision? Analyze the organization exhibited by your thinking process by completing the 5-step problem solving method. Share your problem with other members of the class and have them analyze and solve it. Explain the solution you arrived at.

4 Accepting the problem Acknowledge that the problem exists
Identify the problem Commit yourself to solving it List the benefits Formalize your acceptance Accept responsibility for your life Create a ‘worst-case’ scenario Identify what’s holding you back

5 Problem-solving method
Step 1: What is the problem? What do I know about the situation? What results am I aiming for in this situation? How can I define the problem? View the problem from different perspectives. Identify component problems. State the problem clearly and specifically. Step 2: What are the alternatives? What are the boundaries of the problem situation? What alternatives are possible within these boundaries? Discuss the problem with other people. Brainstorm ideas. Change location. Step 3: What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of each alternative? What are the advantages of each alternative? What are the disadvantages of each alternative? What additional information do I need to evaluate each?

6 Problem-solving method (contd)
Step 4: What is the solution? Which alternatives will I pursue? Evaluate and compare alternatives. Combine alternatives. Try out each alternative in your imagination. What steps can I take to act on the alternative(s) chosen? Step 5: How well is the solution working? What is my evaluation? Compare the results with the goals. Get other perspectives. What adjustments are necessary?

7 Activity Analyzing an unsolved problem
Select an unsolved problem from your own life. Strengthen your acceptance of the problem. Analyze the problem using the problem-solving techniques described in this chapter. Discuss problem with classmates to get different perspectives and get alternatives. Deepen your understanding of the problem. Come up with a concrete plan to deal with the problem.

8 Homework I. Prepare a presentation . The topic of the presentation depends on your group assignment. Group 1 will present on the topic of date rape. Read Nancy Gibbs article "When is it rape?" on p The presentation basically addresses question #3 on p. 114: Imagine that you are the dean of students at your college. What actions would you take to address the problem of date rape? Explain your reasons for considering these actions. Group 2 will present on the topic of discrimination. Read the article "Young Hate" by David Shenk on p The presentation will address question #3 on p. 107: Using the problem-solving method in this chapter, analyze the problem of bigotry on college campuses -- yours or others. Develop some practical solutions for dealing with this troubling issue. Your presentation should be a persuasive presentation that involves the development of a convincing argument (see chapter 10 Constructing Arguments, p ). Your argument supporting your proposal should be logical. Please make references to the readings. In other words, use ideas or points in the development of your presentation. We will videotape the presentations for review later in the semester. If you would like to use PowerPoint for your presentation, that is fine.

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