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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Problem Solving Becomes Global Effort

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Professor Kinzer and doctoral student Manu Kapur are piloting a study so math and physics problem solving can become a global effort.

A collaboration between the Department of Math, Science, and Technology and Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad makes working on math and physics problem sets a global effort.  Thanks to a pilot project entitled "Collaborative Problem Solving in a Synchronous Computer-Mediated Environment," 360 students across 10 schools are working together to solve complex problems that are checked for accuracy by experts at TC.

Dr. Charles Kinzer, faculty advisor and chairperson of the Department's program in Communication, Computing, & Technology in Education, said, "With increasing globalization, problem solving and decision-making activities in modern organizations increasingly centre on collaborative teams. Yet, much of school curricula is designed for individual problem solving and acquisition of skills with little emphasis put on collaborative problem solving. This study is designed to investigate collaborative problem solving processes and outcomes when students work together to solve well and ill-structured problems."  Doctoral student and lead researcher on the project Manu Kapur added, "Problem solving is regarded as one of the most important learning outcomes of education in preparing students for the future. This study is designed to bring ill-structured problem solving into the school curriculum."  Findings from the study will be presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association as well as at the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning conference.

The article, entitled "From Collaborative Learning to Problem Solving," appeared in the March 28 edition of The Times of India.

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