Real, real world problems

The staff at Metiri have been talking a lot about entrepreneurship lately. Over the summer, we presented three webinars on our edWeb community that focused on entrepreneur-readiness skills: Calculated risk-taking, evidence-based decision-making, persistence, tolerance for ambiguity, and self-direction. These are what we call the meta-skills of entrepreneurship, skills that come before the tangible skills of entrepreneurship (coming up with an idea, creating a business plan, creating a prototype, etc.). While entrepreneurs have many skills, these five are really are a foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset. They also will benefit any student, regardless of their future career plans.  

While there are many ways to teach the five skills, even in the early grades, one of the instructional strategies that seems to encourage all of them is posing real world problems. Completely coincidentally, two great examples of real world problems came to our attention today. They are rather on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of written products—one a blog by a student, the other a report of scholarly research. Both, however, are great examples of real world problems in action.

Take a look at Albemarle County Schools’ student Nick Anglin’s blog post on Edutopia, and this article from on Math Modeling Professional Devleopment from EdWeek describing work that’s being done through a National Science Foundation Grant to integrate mathematical modeling into classroom instruction. Both the blog and the article are excellent arguments that standard word problems may have too much structure to meet some learning objectives and that using real world problems in the classroom can go beyond the two trains approaching in opposite directions.

If you’re interested in more about how to encourage entrepreneur-readiness in students, keep your eye on Metiri in the next few weeks! We’re up to something and we can’t wait to share!