The header of this write up sounds philosophical, right? It definitely is and I have tried to connect it to the process that one follows for problem solving.
So, on a journey, a man wants to go from place A to place B and is not sure of the path to take (This man is from the era when google maps was not there!) and there are 3 paths. How does the man decide where to go?
The man might think about asking travellers on the road and start on path A. It is important for him to ask the right questions in order to bring clarity. After having started on path A, the man finds after some time that a dead end has come. Now the man will have to go back to the starting point and go on path B. It is possible that here also he might face difficulties. He still may or may not reach the place but he surely did rack his brains to find a way out to reach and in the process gained experience!
Connect this analogy to this question below:
How many piano tuners are there in the world?
This problem also needs a starting points and the right questions to go about it. The process of thinking matters and the paths taken matter! One could start with the number of pianos in the world and work the way with seeing how many pianos one tuner can tune etc. Another way could be to start with the number of piano makers in the world and their sales and hence coming at an approximate number of pianos in the world.
The approach can be made as crisp as needed with the additional clause of which country will have more pianos and so on.
The process of trying to get to the answer is what helps us open up our minds and think innovatively. To not stop is the key! Clichéd but true- Try and Try until you succeed.
And hence the journey matters! Happy journey!
By Devika Mittal – Educational Specialist
(Member of Large Scale Assessment Team)