#3A – The Steps to Defining my Problem

The second step of design thinking is the define mode.  Through this, you are to be able to reframe your problem and think of your problem in many different ways.  Eventually, you should be able to create a well-defined problem that is solvable.

My first step to solving was to do a 5-Why’s Root Analysis.

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Through my 5-Why’s I realized a lot about my students that I hadn’t thought about before.  First, I realized that students may be bored because they are just tired.  This exhaustion could come from lack of sleep from things out of their control, or from staying up all night texting their friends or playing video games.

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A second realization I had, was that students may be bored in class because they don’t find school relevant.  As I began thinking, I realized that as much as teachers want students to be engaged, it is sometimes hard to relate the content to their daily lives.  For example, how do you explain to a student that learning about cells will affect them on a day-to-day basis?

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Finally, I realized that some students might not be engaged because they must sit in their seats for many hours at a time with only 4 minutes passing time and 25 minutes for lunch.  Students are expected to sit silently and stay-on task when all they want to talk about is the drama that happened before school, or the great reality TV show they watched last night.

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My second method to reach a reframed problem was a WHY-HOW ladder.  I began with students want to hang out with friends and branched from there.  It was through this activity that I began to have an AHA moment.  I realized that maybe students are disengaged because the material is too easy for them or because it is too hard.

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Finally, through my last activity, I began narrowing down my problem.  Creating my point of view mad lib, I began filing in the user, the needs of the user and why.  This is where I finally realized how important it is to differentiate and how this might be causing students to be disengaged in the classroom!

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In my next post, I will explain my narrowed down problem of practice!  Stay tuned.

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