Promoting Productive Struggle that leads to Understanding
STEM projects by their very nature involve struggle through the design and implementation of solutions to problems. The principle of productive struggle is that when students confront and fail a challenging problem, rather than directing them to the solution, they are then provided further clarifying instructions, to guide them on their own path of learning. Students are more successful by developing strong habits of mind, such as perseverance and thinking flexibly, instead of simply seeking the correct solution.
We will explore the strategies and teaching methods involved in promoting productive struggle. Just as importantly, how to identify when destructive struggle is occurring, and redirect it in a productive way.
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