# PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUES

**This article is written for a purpose in order to help you and your child to develop problem solving skills.** First, let's remember what the problem is, then;

- How to Improve Problem Solving Skills?
- What are the Problem Solving Steps?

These topics are going to be covered. In this way, we have encouraged both children and adults to be more powerful and solution-oriented when they face with problems.

## WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Problem is the factors that make it difficult or impossible to get desired result. Problems occur when the actual result is different from the expected result. You may also name this situation as the theory comes into conflict with the practice or the practice has some obstacles.

DO NOT FORGET :You do not have to memorize problem solving steps. When you develop your problem solving skills, these methods will become the way your brain thinks. Math problem solving techniques are also becoming permanent in this way.”

### HOW TO IMPROVE PROBLEM SOLVIG SKILLS?

We have discussed scientific problem solving process in the following parts of the article but these methods cannot be applied to every discipline. For example, it may be misleading to try to use the problem solving abilities that are applied in the business world to solve a mathematical problem. The important thing is to learn how to use our brain in solution oriented.

**Let’s remember now one of the main features of a problem:** The problem is sort of difficulties, which has solutions more than one. So, you must have realized what makes our job easier in math problems. Yes, finding different alternatives for the solution and applying multiple solution methods is the right answer. This is an effective method for all kinds of problems.

“Problem solving skills is an important ability for not just school courses; but it is also an important skill that makes life easier for all. People who develop problem solving skills are also capable of coping with the challenges of life.”

## FINDING PERMANENT SOLUTIONS NOT TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS

Instead of learning strategies to solve problems or improving the problem solving abilities, just memorizing formulas is not more than just finding temporary solutions.

**Example:** Consuming fish can be a good way to fill your stomach, but it is not a permanent solution for starvation.

- Solution 1- Making money and getting fish constantly
- Solution 2- Learning fishing

As you can see there are more than one solution methods and they can be multiplied even more.** This is exactly what we need to do for our children! We must support them with permanent solutions, not with temporary ones.** In the education system, which is mainly based on memorization, some of schools have been added courses like intelligence games to their curriculum in order to develop children's reasoning and problem solving abilities. In almost all of the educational institutions, intelligence games are now added to weekly course schedules. It means permanent cognitive development is aimed instead of temporary solutions.

**Example:** Many educational institutions use MenalUP Educational Games application. MentalUP is a fun application consisting of educational games that are developed by the **academicians who are specialized in their fields.** MentalUP which supports the ability of problem solving strategies of children has attracted attention of individual members. Also it succeeded to become an international application.

It is also possible to become an individual member of MentalUP, which improves children’s problem solving skills through verbal, visual, and mathematical intelligence exercises for the brain. You can join us and try **FREE trial**.

MentalUP Educational Games: **Try It Now**

### MENTALUP EDUCATIONAL GAMES AND HOW TO DEVELOP PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS?

What does MentalUP do to improve problem solving skills? For example, in one of the mathematical intelligence games it gives 4-5 different numbers to reach the number 16. Normally, each student will try to sum up the numbers to find the number 16 first, but the application recommends a **different problem solving strategies**. It wants you to find the number 16 not by summing them up but by adding the extra numbers. During this time you have also a limited time. This is just an example. There are dozens of intelligence games like this and the games are getting harder and harder according to the level of the player. Children both have fun and develop their problem solving techniques.

Adults can also practice the following steps for their problems (could be in business or social life). So, what are the problem solving steps in everyday and business life?

## PROBLEM SOLVING STEPS

**Identification of the problem:**For detecting the problem, it is important to reveal the obstacles with a question. For example, what are the signs that cause you to see the situation as a problem? How was it supposed to happen?**Describing the problem in an expressible way:**Have the ambiguities been clarified to identify the problem? Can we say: "Yes, this is definitely a problem and it leads us to this conclusion. However, the results we want is another one"**Finding solutions and alternatives:**Do we have sufficient knowledge to produce solutions? Do we need to get help from others by brainstorming? Do we have more than one option?**Investigating the solution methods:**(bilgi toplama, test etme vs.)Çözüm yöntemlerimiz doğru mu? Çözüm yöntemleri, beraberinde farklı sorunlar doğurur mu? Hangi yöntem daha uygun?**Applying the chosen method to the problem:**Have we applied the solution method? If we have failed, have we tried again or renew?**Evaluate the results and conclude the overall result:**Are we happy with the results of our solutions? Was that supposed to happen? So we clarify which solution we follow at which step and we can reach our goal. Is it correct?

The 6-step problem solving technique is shared above. Testing is really important in the problem solving steps. Since we do not have a chance to test each problem, or we cannot tolerate the results of each test, then our logic is taken into account. Any solution we produce can come with new problems.

**EXAMPLE:**

After the designing of a plane is completely done, we cannot actually load and fly the aircraft to test how many tons of weight it can lift up. Instead, we apply math problem solving techniques or physics problem solving techniques. We can design a model of the plane and test it by setting ratio. All of these alternatives are logical consequences. This process is based on the logical reasoning in every stage and interpretation of what sources we can get help to solve the problem and what steps are available. It could be a new question mark or a new problem whether our logic is misleading us.

We may prefer to do A-B tests where it is not possible to apply numerical calculations. Example: We can only predict if an e-commerce website will have a difference in the number of clicking on the "BUY" button whether it is red or green. However, we can only find out which colour brings more clicks by testing.