#529. Problem-based Learning Process

Posted on | The Agurban

Our good friend Maury Forman, Senior Manager for Rural Development with the Washington State Department of Commerce, posts the BSD (Business Services Division) Community Update each month. As usual his topics are spot on. We want to share with our readers a portion of their recent newsletter that outlined ways to help students become problem-solvers and learn life-long skills.

Problem-based Learning Process
Maury Forman, http://startup.choosewashingtonstate.com/

We can help schools implement concepts that encourage a problem-based learning process that can tune up and discipline the muscles and minds of potential entrepreneurs. Here are some ideas to suggest for different high school-level class projects that could sustain lifelong self-learning situations and turn them into entrepreneurs.

** English and language arts: Introduce real world concerns and problems and write up articulate potential solutions.
** History: Interview local entrepreneurs and learn their story behind their idea/product/service and why they decided to own their own business.
** Math: Understand interest rates on one’s own credit card bills, balance checkbooks, get their credit reports and discuss their scores.
** Social Studies: Discuss case studies with regulatory constraints and laws affecting businesses and why they are important. Identify unnecessary regulations.
** Science: Encourage scientific enthusiasm and have students search for jobs requiring STEM skills, especially ones that require only certifications after high school.
** Arts: Develop ideation and “concrete experience” learning exercises that encourage creativity and problem solving.
** Foreign Language: Teach foreign culture with language skills. Coordinate study abroad programs that will connect students to a future new customer base.
** Economics: Develop a mock exercise that shows how dollars circulate and how local stores keep money in the economy more than big box stores.
** Business: Create a “Business Model Canvas” which is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows students to describe, design, challenge, invent and pivot a business idea.

This is not a suggestion for economic development professionals to teach classes. It is, however, a suggestion that we can help facilitate learning in schools that contributes to improved real life skills that students will use in their careers and all of their lives. Our role is to help sustain long lasting healthy communities at every level. And, yes, we can still always help kids practice their free throws and foster all those dreams.