May 05, 2016
Solution Fluency Spotlight: Tips and Tools for Understanding
By far the most important skill students need for future success is the ability to solve complex and challenging problems. This sentiment is shared by practically every educator we’ve asked across the globe. With Solution Fluency you have a powerful tool to give to your students. It’s a process that will serve them well in school and in life. Let's turn on the Solution Fluency spotlight and shine it for better understanding.
The question educators have most often is: What does Solution Fluency look like in action in the classroom? This Solution Fluency spotlight will help. It has simple tools for helping you understand how to apply the 6Ds process in your teaching.
Solution Fluency in the Classroom
When educators first see Solution Fluency, it looks familiar to them. They say “we do that already.” That’s because the 6Ds process of Solution Fluency mirrors other processes they are already familiar with.
This chart shows how Solution Fluency's 6Ds echo the stages of other common learning processes. These include the scientific method, the writing process, media production, and design thinking.
These methodologies are all engineered to solve problems effectively and efficiently. So the idea of Solution Fluency being a fluid and unconscious process in students’ minds isn’t a stretch.
What Solution Fluency Is and Isn't
Let’s challenge some common assumptions about Solution Fluency. Here's a look at both what it is and is not.
Solution Fluency is not:
- A linear process. Solution Fluency isn’t bound by the limitations and strictness that can be part of linear processes. It has a different more intuitive flow.
- A long complicated process. Some teachers assume Solution Fluency takes days or weeks to implement. It can be used this way, but that’s not the only way.
- Exclusive to a classroom. Solution Fluency isn’t strictly a process for the modern classroom. True, it’s purpose is for learning, but its power extends beyond school.
- An advanced thinking model. To some, Solution Fluency looks too complicated to work with every student. As such, teachers often have doubts about its viability.
Solution Fluency is:
- A cyclical process. All the phases of Solution Fluency are meant to be revisited in any learning journey. It doesn’t always need to happen, but it can.
- A versatile process. Solution Fluency can be applied to any task of any scale. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a grocery list or redesigning the universe!
- A skill for life. Solution Fluency teaches us crucial problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills. It’s a formula for success in every aspect of life.
- A skill for everyone. An eye-opening moment for us was when we saw 4-year-old children explaining the 6Ds to their parents. Solution Fluency is that simple!
Some Guiding Questions
Understanding how to use Solution Fluency in a classroom setting means asking guiding questions at every phase. Suggestions for each phase are listed below.
Define: What are the details of the challenge we face? What do we want to overcome specifically? What do we want to solve?
Discover: What do I need to know and what do I need to be able to do? Why do we need this to happen? Why hasn’t it been done previously? If it has, why wasn’t it successful? What can we change?
Dream: What do we truly want to create? How will it function? What will it look like? What’s our best-case scenario for the end goal?
Design: What does it look like “on paper”? How will we create and implement it? What are the steps we must take? What are the milestones and guidelines we will set for ourselves? How will we ensure everything is being done right and on time? How will we deal with problems?
Deliver: How do we bring this idea into functional reality? How do we practically apply what we’ve done? How will we present this to people? How will we know it’s working?
Debrief: What were the results of our efforts? How did we succeed or fall short of accomplishing our goal? What went well, and what didn’t? How can we improve our efforts and outcome in the future? How can we apply what we’ve done to similar problems?
The Ultimate Solution Fluency Tool
There is a perfect way to put Solution Fluency to practical use in your classroom. The Solution Fluency Activity Planner uses Solution Fluency as the guided process for creating your best project-based learning lessons.
It features thousands of plans to view and share, and plenty of room to create your own. Join a global network of educators now and start bringing Solution Fluency into your classroom!