Action-based Problem Solving

Steps in the Action-based Problem Solving Model

1. Accepting the Challenge (brainstorming areas of concern)

2. Identifying the Underlying Challenge (recognizing and stating the most significant problem)

3. Producing the Action Ideas (generating ideas for overcoming the Underlying Challenge; creating Action Statements)

4. Weighing the Action Ideas (using criteria to analyze and evaluate the most promising ideas)

5. Creating the Plan of Action (combining and elaborating on higher ranking Action Ideas to create an effective Plan of Action)

Action-based Problem Solving (AbPS)

AbPS is Future Problem Solving Program's problem-solving component designed specifically for use in the regular classroom. It introduces the classroom teacher and students to creative problem solving and higher-level thinking and action skills in a hands-on, non-threatening manner.

The concepts behind each problem-solving step are taught in short, but challenging lessons, making the concepts easy to understand and apply. AbPS actively engages all students in learning, constructing meaning and applying both knowledge and process to real-life situations.

AbPS is performance based and has real-world applications for authentic learning. It is designed to guide students into community action and provides a model that is effective in the regular classroom for all students. It can also be implemented as:

  • a strategy for use in the inclusion model
  • a curriculum in exploratory classes
  • an extension of any curriculum unit
  • a method to introduce higher level thinking skills to gifted students
  • a model for internal school district problem solving

How does Action-based work? Junior and middle division teams complete two Action-based future scenes. Primary division teams engage in problem solving using fairy tales and complete one Action-based future scene each year.

Team members (four to six students) may vary from problem to problem. It is recommended a team complete all steps in the second semester topic in order to prepare for the Action-fair. Teams can engage in an Action-fair coordinated by the FPS affiliate program or individual school(s). The Action-fair presents students and teachers with an opportunity to identify a local need or problem area, create a comprehensive plan of action using the AbPS model and introduce the local community to the upcoming project through the presentation of a five minute skit based on the action plans. Teams are supplied with a fuzzy challenge outlining the procedure for beginning a community problem-solving project.


For more information about Action-based Problem Solving contact Annabel Brown, the state coordinator.