Step 2

Selecting a Problem for Class Study

  1. One good way to bring ideas together is to have the group of students take the three forms they used for research (Interview's etc.) and use the two documentation forms (pp. 69, 71 of teacher's guide) to analyze information from their research.
  2. Teacher should brainstorm ideas (using brainstorming techniques like writing on board or flip chart all ideas without immediate evaluation).
  3. Use questions on p. 12 of teacher's guide to analyze their suggestions from the brainstorming session.
  4. Allow students to vote on top three ideas. Each student gets three votes. They may place them all on one topic or spread them out.
  5. Have students evaluate the class's top three ideas using the following criteria:
    • Is this a local problem?
    • Is this a problem in which a public policy can be developed?
    • Does this problem have a narrow scope (i.e., instead of general crime, problem may be student graffiti at school?
    • Is this a problem not a solution (i.e., homelessness vs. raising money for local homeless shelter)?
    • Can you argue the significance of the problem?
    • Do you believe a realistic solution can be found?
    • Will you be able to find research on the topic?
  6. After eliminating the problems that do not meet criteria, have students vote on the one problem the class will tackle.

Note: At this time, look for similarities in the top three procedures. Do they have anything in common? Could they be reworked to include all three problems into one? Could the remaining problems become possible solutions to the chosen problem by rewording them? Including the ideas of all the students whenever possible will ensure that the entire class buys into the chosen problem so that students will stay enthusiastic about the project from beginning to end.

Step 3 »