Problem Solving a real world situation in 7 steps

Using the 7 steps, outlined in the University of Pittsburgh’s, ‘Problem Solving’ comment on how you could solve the problem using the steps outlined.
Problem – Primary school. Relief from face to face teaching for classroom teachers is covered by the teacher librarian (TL). This means that it is difficult to plan any collaborative teaching opportunities with the teachers. You are also concerned that the students learning in the library may not be contextually relevant to their learning in the classroom. How could you approach this problem?

Step 1 Define and identify the problem

Opportunities to collaboratively teach with classroom teachers are difficult to arrange due to TL taking relief from face-to-face. Concerned about contextual relevance for students to their classroom learning.

Goal – try to create opportunities outside of relief from face-to-face time where collaborative teaching can occur. Create contextual relevance for students.

Step 2 Analyse the problem

Timetabling a big issue.

A lack of knowledge around the role of the TL and the purpose and benefits of their teaching in the Library exists.

Step 3-5 Identify, Select and Evaluate possible solutions

A staff meeting led by TL could occur where problem  is explained and brainstorming session happens to try to find solutions.

Step 6 Action Plan

Work with person responsible for timetabling to factor in opportunities for collaborative teaching.

Education program for principal, staff and parent community – an information meeting for staff and an information evening for parents and the wider community run by TL, a link on Library website with relevant information about the role of the TL and a flyer to go home to all parents.

Time factored into the school year (i.e. per term) for TL to plan with classroom teachers about context for learning.

Step 7 Implement the solution

Monitor feedback from all concerned in regards to the education program. A Possible survey could be developed to establish a growth in knowledge and areas requiring further address.

Monitor creation of opportunities for discussion, planning and collaborative teaching and collect evidence to support the benefits where successful collaborations occurred.


Problem Solving. (n.d.). Home | University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 22, 2103 from


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