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What is the importance of problem-solving skills?

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Quick Answer

Problem-solving skills let students apply what they learn instead of just recalling information. It is a valuable skill in a wide range of fields. Knowing how to solve problems enables students to think critically.

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Many students believe that school is about learning basic facts and simple skills. In reality, most courses require students to think through problems presented and give thoughtful answers. In mathematics, problems-solving skills help students apply principles to scenarios found in the real world. In engineering fields and computer science, problems-solving is needed to apply what is learned in school to programs and structures.

Increasingly, employers are looking for people with strong problem-solving skills. Computers can automate many simple tasks, and information is easy to find online. However, computers struggle at solving problems, and humans with the right skills can find patterns and solve a wide range of problems.

One of the missions of educators is to teach students how to think critically. Critical thinking allows students to analyze information they are presented with, and that skill helps students live enriching lives. By presenting students with problems and asking them to solve them, teachers can ensure that their students are prepared for challenges they will encounter after graduation.

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