Creative and Critical Thinking through Future Problem Solving

Teaching critical and creative thinking is vital to the future of our youth. The Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI) is a program that really hones in on this subject.

We all have problems we’d like to solve. Some people aren’t very good at math. Some people have nosy neighbors. Some people go to bed hungry at night. No matter how small or how big the problems are, we’d like to solve them. It’s hard to solve a problem, though, unless we understand the problem very well. Who is involved in the problem? What is the problem? When and where does the problem occur? Why does the problem happen? How does it occur? The first step in successful problem solving is defining and describing the problem.

This is just one type of thinking fostered by FPSPI. The program (for students in grades 4–12) stimulates critical and creative thinking skills and encourages young people to develop visions for the future through both individual and team activities. It nurtures global awareness not only through choice of topics, but by knowing that the same problems are being studied by over 250,000 students annually, including those from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States.

Curricular and co-curricular competitive activities, as well as non-competitive activities are offered.

Through FPSPI, students learn to
  • formulate and attack complex, ambiguous problems
  • analyze and better understand material
  • improve in oral and written communication
  • work together in a team.

You can get an idea of the scope of current and future topics by reading their descriptions at the program’s Web site.

Even if your student never participates in the formal program, the organization’s website contains good instructional materials for creative and critical thinking. Materials include both written offerings available for purchase and also links to other Web sites.

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