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A kindergarten that focuses on teaching collaborative problem solving

Image credit: Kelly Bielefeld

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jun 25, 2022
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Kindergartens that focus on teaching collaborative problem-solving and viewing problems as challenges that can be solved if one really commits to solving them.
  • Instill in kids the mindset that any problem can be solved if one really commits to solving it, and that complex problems are best solved collaboratively.
  • Create a better society where people default to collaboration rather than competition.
How it works
Kindergarten or daycare center like any other, but with a twist. The majority of activities and games are designed around collaborative problem-solving.
This kindergarten would use play to teach kids:
  • not to despair in the face of problems, but to view them as challenges
  • to internalize useful problem-solving mental models
  • how to enlist the help of others and motivate everyone to work together for a common goal
  • to understand that some problems need to be slept on and/or talked about with others before solutions appear
  • to be patient but persistent with really difficult problems
  • that some problems require a lifetime of dedication so they should often re-think their priorities/desires
  • that it's ok to put a challenge on hold (let it simmer) while they play with another
  • to help others for no reason
  • that creativity is a "muscle" that can be trained to get better at doing its job
  • to understand that different minds look at problems from different perspectives. What may seem unremarkable to one person, can spark a revelation in another brain that is wired just a little differently.
  • what else?
Creative contributions

Solutions to covert challenges that are proudly reported to parents in front of the kids

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jun 26, 2022
Often, teachers will set up situations that aren't announced to the kids as challenges but nonetheless serve as covert challenges. For example, in some corner they bolt down a cage with a wire mesh door. Place some shelves inside and introduce it as storage space where stuff is put away. The next day, load it with some interesting snacks or toys that kids would love to get their hands on. The teacher tells the kids that the stuff inside the cage is for them but unfortunately the key has been lost. Leave the kids alone with the cage for a while. Ideally, they would brainstorm ideas and eventually build some kind of a tool made from other toys and use it to reach stuff on the shelves inside the cage. If they do, report it to the parents as spontaneous creative/collaborative problem-solving. Praise the kids to the parents where they can "overhear" it. Make sure they remember it as a win based on collaborative problem-solving.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Hopefully, the kids don't go robbing vending machines afterwards😀
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