Principled Problem Solving commences
October 5, 2007
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The new Center for Principled Problem Solving exists to unite Guilford students, faculty, and the surrounding community with an understanding of social change and innovation. It encourages students to incorporate and combine their education both inside and outside of the classroom.
“Principled problem solving is a central aspect of the Guilford transformative experience of liberal arts education,” Mark Justad said, director of the new Center for Principled Problem Solving (CPPS) at Guilford College.
The CPPS is an academic program that seeks to understand and work with social change and innovation in every context of the world. Its presence on campus reflects the unique education that Guilford offers.
“It’s an exciting and difficult challenge,” Justad said. “There’s a divide between what happens in and out of the classroom. We’re trying to pull these two experiences together coherently.”
The CPPS is guided by Guilford’s core values of community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice, and stewardship. It’s open to all Guilford students, faculty, and other motivated members in the surrounding community.
Senior Liz Reilley, secretary of the Student Senate, supports the center’s existence on campus.
“I think that Guilford College taking the initiative to begin a principled problem solving program with a center and a director, shows a commitment to its core values,” Reilly said.
In early October, the CPPS will begin taking project proposals that incorporate active problem solving with Guilford’s core values. If a student-proposed project is selected, the student may be eligible for independent study credit. The participation of faculty in projects is strongly encouraged, but not required.
“My job is to build on what’s already here, and to identify ways that we can create new things that enhance the value of our institution,” Justad said.
Several Guilford students and faculty members are currently engaging in principled problem solving. According to the Guilford College magazine, Kyle Dell, assistant professor of political science, encourages his students to challenge themselves with problem solving strategies.
“With principled problem solving, students are producing knowledge instead of consuming knowledge,” Dell said. “They’re making decisions to produce something that’s analytical, practical, and useful. And I think that’s a really exciting thing.”
“Principled Problem Solving will be a great way to link the kinds of problem solving that many students are already engaged in outside of the classroom, to their studies,” Reilley said.
Justad is excited about the future of the center at Guilford. He encourages all interested members to participate and use the center to their advantage.
“We can’t afford to let our spiritual values rely on a higher power to fix things,” Justad said. “We have to accept responsibility as global actors. This center is a new chapter of an ongoing saga.”