Posted in MAET: CEP 812

Problem Solving with James Gee

James Gee’s The Anti-Education Era (2013) begins with a discussion of our own stupidity. He does this not to offend his readers, but rather to encourage us to recognize our own limitations and work toward solving them. One limitation in particular is our inability to solve complex problems. There are several factors inhibiting us from solving these grandiose problems, including our tendency to focus on our individual needs above the needs of the society as well as our stubborn behavior in consulting only sources we already know or that confirm our existing beliefs. One of Gee’s (2013) most convincing arguments, however, is that our inability to solve complex problems stems from the prevalence of institutions in our society.

For additional thoughts on this subject, as well as my examination of how this applies to my practice and work in education, please continue reading here.


Gee, J. P. (2013). The anti-education era: Creating smarter students through digital learning. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.


One thought on “Problem Solving with James Gee

  1. Rachel,
    Great job connecting Gee’s ideas about smarter problem-solving with your own experiences in the professional learning community at your school! I agree with what you said that “humans are losing the ability and desire to think for themselves and solve complex problems” because of advances in technology. In particular, I think the internet and cell phones are causing us humans to lose the ability to ask questions and solve problems because the answers to any problems are one click away. I believe that it’s our job as educators to help students learn smart problem-solving so that they don’t lose this ability.

    I agree with your thought from Gee that “an individual must have a personal connection to the outcome of the problem in order to work creatively to solve it”. Teachers have the personal connection to problems at his or her school and will work creatively to solve them when given the chance. Hopefully, in the coming years as more and more schools implement professional learning communities for students, parents, teachers, and administrators to solve problems, schools will become smarter institutions. My school will be getting our Local School Council (LSC) back this school year so that we can start to problem solve in a smarter way as you do at yours.
    Nice work!


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