What interesting problems have you posed to students recently?

What interesting problems have students asked you?


Yesterday I was listening to Tim Ferriss interview Seth Godin on his 4 Hour Work Week podcast: ‘How Seth Godin Manages His Life — Rules, Principles, and Obsessions’. When I got to this quote, I noted the time on the show and went back to it later to share here:

“We need to teach students two things:
          1.HOW TO LEAD
Because the fact is, there are plenty of countries on earth where there are people willing to be obedient and work harder for less money than us. So we can not out-obedience the competition. Therefore, we have to out-lead or out-solve the other people… who want whatever is scarce. The way to teach your kids to solve interesting problems…  is to give them interesting problems to solve. And then, don’t criticize them when they fail because kids aren’t stupid, if they get in trouble every time they try to solve an interesting problem, they’ll just go back to getting an ‘A’ by memorizing what’s in the textbook”. — Seth Godin

I like to listen to podcasts. Radio is dead. Whenever I’m in my car alone, I don’t bother with the radio. Radio gives you two awful options: 1. Music & too many commercials; 2. news/sports/traffic & too many commercials. Podcasts give me what I want to listen to, commercial free (or easy to skip), and a learning opportunity that would otherwise be wasted. Furthermore, I don’t have to religiously follow any one person or show like a TV series. I can pick and choose, knowing that each podcast is an independent interview that I can rewind and pause whenever I want. Podcasts meet a need that I didn’t know I had, until I discovered the joy of listening to them.

Along with Seth’s quote, I’d like to share another quote that I came across via Twitter, thanks to Tom Whitford – @TWhitford:


If we believe in our students, if we give them interesting problems to solve, and if we provide them with both the room and the resources to fail (and learn from) trying something epic… Amazing learning opportunities will happen!

Learning and Failure by David Truss

“The way to teach your kids to solve interesting problems… 

is to give them interesting problems to solve.”

I love how Seth Godin states the obvious… That needs to be stated!

3 comments on “Solving Interesting Problems

  1. We are in the process of building another virtual 3D French town, but this one is to be uniquely ‘Quebecois’. The purpose is not so much for our immersive French language program, but for studying the history and culture. So we’ve asked our Quebec students to identify and research those things that make them French-Canadian. The students are enjoying the open-ended nature of the exercise, and the fact that they’re not only a part of the building process, but they become the resident experts as well.

  2. When you ask a question to a child and let him believe that it is the most difficult one, then he takes it as a challenge. As physical exercises makes our body fit and active, in the same way, challenging questions and quizes makes our mind active and fit.

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