University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover

Problem Solving Model

This module provides an introduction and overview of problem solving, based on Professor
Stan Deno's perspective of the “IDEAL” problem solving model. The module features an
interview with Professor Deno, along with chapters he has written that describe each step of the
problem solving process and the obstacles that school professionals might face. A case study
is provided to illustrate how the IDEAL problem solving model might be applied to a specific
students’ academic difficulties. Additional instructional modules will address more specific
topics relevant to components of the problem solving process.

As a result of participating in this module, you should be able to:

  1. Describe how a problem is defined.
  2. Describe how a problem-solving team explores and applies possible solutions to a
  3. Discuss the purpose and importance of progress monitoring within the problem-solving
  4. Identify and discuss practical and research issues related to problem solving.


The Problem Solving Model: An Interview with Stan Deno, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
(in Adobe Presenter format).

Important: To view this presentation, you will need to have Adobe Flash Player installed to your computer. Please download the software for free.

To learn more about Dr. Stan Deno's conception of the problem solving model, please download his chapter (in PDF format) Deno, S.L. (2005). Problem-Solving Assessment. In Brown-Chidsey, R. (Ed). Assessment for intervention: A problem-solving approach. (10-40). New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.

You may also download an abbreviated version of his chapter (PDF).

Problem Solving Model presentation slides for printing out (PDF).

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Last modified on November 27, 2013.