In the 21st century, becoming a skilled problem-solver and being able to access and manipulate information are as important as – and perhaps even more important than – learning content. The Engaging Minds methodology is designed to help students become 21st-century learners.
One of the most unique aspects of the Engaging Minds methodology is its across-the-board applicability. We focus on developing students' problem-solving skills, which can be used to solve any problem, be it in reading, math, science, social studies, or writing. While some problem-solving skills are subject specific, the majority of our work with students is through the process of guided problem solving. Our methodology includes: working with students on setting goals; helping students organize what they already know and determining what more they need to know to be successful; working through the problem at hand, using their goals and organizational techniques as a guide; and finally going back to check their work to be sure their answer makes mathematical, scientific, or grammatical sense and also to confirm their understanding.
We recognize that, for many students, the primary goal is to get homework done and learn content. We help students achieve that goal by using students' own work to teach these valuable problem-solving skills. Whether a student needs support in math, reading, or writing, we infuse learning and thinking strategies he or she can use to approach the work, while simultaneously providing the support needed in particular content areas.
As we work with students, we are continually moving them to the point where they are motivated and able to do their work independently. Engaging Minds instructors maintain a balance between providing direction and developing autonomy. Our instructors are adept at guiding students to discover information on their own and at modeling how to think about new and unfamiliar problems. Eventually, each student is going to have to work functionally on his or her own. At Engaging Minds, we guide students toward this goal each and every day.