Teaching Students Resourcefulness Skills

November 6, 2012

Being resourceful means being able to get the information and results you need.  It takes practice, but is a skill that is of benefit in many areas of life.

Problem Solving Success results from a combination of:

  • Necessity  (This problem has to be solved.)
  • Knowledge (Underlying Principles have to be understood.)
  • Resourcefulness/Creativity  (Open-mindedness and confidence when a solution is not obvious.)
  • Persistence (Relentless effort)

Steps to be  Resourceful:

  • Evaluate a proposal.
  • Realize that mistakes and choosing wrong directions are inherent in the process.
  • Take action.
  • After each attempt, use the experience to pick up a clue from the result, make a change and try again.  Working Questions may help change the perspective and pick up a new lead.  A new lead is crucial; a common frustrating mistake is to just keep trying the same thing again.
  • Repeat.

Working Questions–Put aside the current approach and consider these questions:

  • What requirements are not met by the current proposal?
  • What is your goal?
  • Where is the effort most needed.  Is that where it is being put?
  • What are other perspectives on the problem?
  • What are other ways of thinking about resources?

Forward: What resources are  required and not currently available?

Backward: What can be done differently with the resources available?

  • Who has information to contribute a different skill or perspective?
  • What is one more idea to try?
  • Has a similar problem been solved by someone else or in a different context?
  • How can search engines be used effectively?

The first choice of search terms is often not the most effective.

Use the results of the initial effort to identify more appropriate key words)

Consider searching “images” .  This can be an efficient way to scan information.

Learn and apply advanced search techniques to focus search results.

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