How do we get students to ask intelligent questions?
How do we teach students to search out their own solutions to problem?
How do we teach students to leverage technology?
Currently students have access to greater stores of knowledge and computational power than at any other time in history. However educators are still asking students to perform routine computational tasks and to recall book facts in classrooms everyday. Educators need to shift their lessons to meet the needs of students today.
A student today can quickly find any fact present in a book and can calculate any mathematical problem given internet access. The ability to store facts and mathematical procedures in your head has been devaluated in our modern internet accessible world.
Currently students need to know how to simplify and structure a problem so that it can be answered. Educators need to teach students how to find and evaluate problems, how to deconstruct larger problems into smaller problems that can be solved.
One method for achieving these goals is to start giving students problems that they view as having value. If students are given problems that are worth their time and that have multiple solutions that they can argue and become invested in they are more likely to maintain the knowledge and skills covered in the lesson past the exam. Once students have contextualized lessons they will be better prepared to modify and adapt ideas and knowledge to solve new problems.
In the past we have given students that are like screws and nails. When they see a nail problem they use a hammer method to solve it, when they see a screw they use a screwdriver method. If students actually understand why they are using a method to solve a problem and have contextualized for themselves why the screwdriver is the better way to solve a class of problems they will be better prepared to identify problems that can be solved using that tool.
Schools need to teach students to become invested in their education and ideas. If a student believes that they know how to solve a problem they will be more willing to step up and suggest ideas for possible solutions.