Transferring skills

Somewhere in the list of “transferable skills” or “graduate attributes” for just about any maths qualification you’ll find some weasely little phrase like “employ numerical and problem-solving skills”. If you’re excessively conscientious, you may waste a great deal of time trying to ensure that your course teaches this basically unteachable ability. Some institutions even supply their students with flowcharts and checklists to follow when confronted with a problem. Since these typically begin with question-begging instructions like “formulate a conceptual model of the problem”, they aren’t necessarily very helpful. Fortunately, some of our students have pioneered a more robust and comprehensible procedure which — after some years of testing — can now be shared with the world. Insert it in the first week of your course and you can sit back knowing that the skills of problem solving have been successfully transferred, and almost certainly without forcing your students to do anything they’d not have done in any case.

The Universal Student Problem-Solving Flowchart

That will be all for today, thank you.

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