By Sanjam Kaur Sagar 

Dealing with obstacles and challenges is a regular part of life, and overcoming them isn’t always easy. Almost every top school in Gurgaon follows an approach to learning that revolves around problem-solving & creativity. We want children to be able to apply their knowledge to real-life situations.

Creative Problem-solving is a mental process that involves analyzing and solving problems. The ultimate goal of problem-solving is to overcome obstacles and find a solution that best resolves the issue. Creative problem-solving is a way of solving problems or exploring opportunities when traditional thinking has failed. It encourages an individual to find advanced perspectives and come up with innovative solutions, so as to formulate a plan to overcome obstacles and reach the set goals.

Creative problem-solving uses two primary tools to find solutions: divergence and convergence.

Creative Problem-Solving asks you to separate your “divergent” and “convergent” thinking as a way to do this. 

  1. Divergent thinking is the process of generating lots of potential solutions and possibilities, otherwise known as brainstorming. Divergent thinking is the creative process of generating original ideas and new prospects.
  1. Convergent thinking involves evaluating those options and choosing the most promising one. Convergent thinking is the process of finding concrete and familiar solutions to problems.

Often, we use a combination of the two to develop new ideas or solutions. However, using them simultaneously can result in unbalanced or biased decisions, and can stifle idea generation.

We can take the example of a songwriter to television producers. Creative individuals generally go through five steps to bring their ideas to fruition.

  • Preparation: The Inspiration Phase.
  • Incubation: Absorbing and Processing.
  • Illumination: The moment when you suddenly understand something important, have a great idea, or find the answer to a problem
  • Evaluation: Putting Your Idea Through the Wringer.
  • Elaboration: testing the idea and working on the idea

These steps can help students organize their time and maximize their ideas. 

In modern societies, all of life is problem solving. Changes in society, the environment, and technology mean that the scope of an individual’s readily-applicable knowledge is rapidly evolving. Adapting, learning, trying out new things and being ready to learn from mistakes are key to resilience and success in an unpredictable world.

Complex problem-solving skills are particularly in demand in fast-growing, highly-skilled managerial, professional and technical occupations. That is why some best schools in Gurgaon emphasize on developing these skills in the students as they believe that it is important for students to develop creative problem solving skills so that they can confront and overcome complex, non-routine challenges with no immediately obvious solutions – both in their daily lives, and in preparation for their future. 

Problem-solving skills can also help individuals to participate fully in society by enabling them to better adapt to new circumstances, engage in lifelong learning, and transfer knowledge into successful action.

Many students currently suffer from the banality of traditional schooling. Students sit in classrooms all day, are overloaded with information, and are expected to be able to regurgitate that same information, often in the form of a multiple-choice exam at some future date. 

In order to address this problem, I believe that schools should emphasize the application of skills and creative approaches to problem solving so that students are not only able to see why the learning is important but are also able to more meaningfully engage with and learn the content. 

Creative thinking will also support student understanding as students are better able to learn new information when they are not focused solely on test scores and performance but are instead focused on learning for the purpose of acquiring (and even creating) new knowledge. 

It is important that teachers focus on investing in students for reasons beyond just passing the unit exam. I believe that teachers can inspire this type of investment in the content by showing students how it can be applied in the real world. Not only are students more invested in content when they see it applied to the outside world, but students then become prepared to actually solve problems they encounter outside of the classroom.

When students learn problem solving, they are likely to approach exams as a problem to be solved (rather than a chore) and are more likely to perform better in them. 

As a Vega Schools’ teacher, my goal is to prepare my students to lead productive lives. That means our students need to be prepared to approach and work through difficult situations. By encouraging them to apply the skills we learn in the classroom to the outside world, we are teaching them to solve these real-world problems.