The European Commission has identified problem solving, and the ability to solve problems and work collaboratively as a main indicator of the transversal skills to be acquired as part of the key competences. It is the view of the “SUPport of Problem-solving mentality in lifelOng leaRning for Trainers” SUPPORT consortium that adult learning consists of a an everlasting process of problem-posing and problem-solving, especially in the case of dealing with persons with low level of skills or qualifications where the learning environment is not only challenged by the knowledge to be acquired but has to deal with a variety of existing preconceptions, social exclusion, stereotypes, language barriers, cultural limitations and others. In order to engage and support the trainers in developing their problem solving skills we have identified a set of interesting, or better yet essential, concepts that are elementary in the problem solving process and mentality. The definition of the aforementioned concepts consists the
More specifically the objectives of SUPPORT, considering as well the specific objectives of the Erasmus+ Programme in the field of education and training, will be as follows:
The SUPPORT Glossary
Problem Solving: Problem Solving is the process of identifying a problem, developing possible solution paths, and taking the appropriate course of action. The problem-solving process is linked to the metacognitive capacity of executive control of the task, such as self-monitoring and self-regulation, and tends to develop them. For the SUPPORT Project adult learning consists of an everlasting process of problem-posing and problem-solving, especially in the case of dealing with persons with low level of skills or qualifications where the learning environment is not only challenged by the knowledge to be acquired but has to deal with a variety of existing preconceptions, social exclusion, stereotypes, language barriers, cultural limitations and others.
The process of problem discovery. Problem finding is part of the larger problem process that includes problem setting and problem solving. Problem finding requires intellectual vision and insight into what is missing and plays a major role in application of creativity.
The process of revising a question so that the solution process can begin or continue. It is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem solving. Problem setting (or problem framing) involves in its core the application of critical thinking.
Brainstorming is a situation where a group of people or a person generate new ideas and solutions around a specific domain of interest by removing inhibitions. People are able to think more freely and they suggest as many spontaneous new ideas as possible. All the ideas are noted down without criticism and after the brainstorming session the ideas are evaluated. The term was popularized by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1967 book Applied Imagination.
The cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several possible alternative options, it could be either rational or irrational. Decision-making process is a reasoning process based on assumptions of values, preferences and beliefs of the decision-maker. Every decision-making process produces a final choice, which may or may not prompt action. The decision-making is the key elementary act towards problem solving, particularly in European psychological research.
Inclusion: Current discussions on learning environments have broadened to include the need to confront issues of sexism and racism (Hayes and Colin 1994), interlocking systems of power andoppression (Tisdell 1993b), and social justice (Shore et al. 1993). This broader understanding of factors that affect learning is leading adult educators to consider how they can create environments
that address these issues
Retention: after enrollment, retention of learners remains one of the most important focuses of any formal, non-formal and informal educational structure. Retention is not only about the number of learners enrolled during a period of time. A serious focus on retention is the institution’s expression of concern toward a learner’s educational advancement having a success and actual impact.
Outreach: widening participation and combating exclusion, reaching out to people who are in some way deprived.