Teaching with Solutions Stories

Teachingwithsojo

No matter the course focus, solutions journalism stories can help your students understand how to respond to the challenges they see in a rapidly changing world. Each story focuses on a response to a problem in meaningful detail; explores the effectiveness as well as the limitations and challenges of the approach; and provides insights others can benefit from. Because of these qualities, solutions stories help you prepare your students to re-examine social issues through a creative, critical lens.

In this section you’ll learn about our teaching resources and services, including how to search for stories in the Solutions Story Tracker®. You’ll also find case studies on how to use solutions journalism in a variety of disciplines and sample assignments you can use for inspiration or adapt for your next course.


Use Solutions Stories to Update Your Course

The Solutions Story Tracker® is our database of thousands of vetted solutions journalism stories from hundreds of news outlets around the world. Send your students to the Tracker to find solutions stories they can analyze and share as part of an assignment, or use the Tracker yourself to find original, timely and relevant stories to supplement your other course materials.

Covid Credit: Christine Herman/ WILL

Custom Story Alerts

Custom Story Alerts make it easy for you to stay up on the latest solutions. They're quick and simple to set up, and like all of our resources, they're free. Whatever the issue you will be getting fresh content about solutions.
Click here to select your issues and sign up.


Testimonials

Learn how other educators are using solutions journalism in disciplines including anthropology, business, philosophy and public policy.


Classroom Activities and Assignments

Explore the creative ways educators have incorporated solutions journalism stories into their teaching and borrow whatever you’d like from these sample assignments.

If you’ve created an assignment you’d like to share with others, let us know and we’ll include it in an upcoming Tools for Teaching newsletter or share it on our website.


Making a Difference Course Modules

The Making a Difference: Strategies for Solving Social Problems course was originally created by Scott Sherman of the Transformative Action Institute for a semester-long undergraduate course on social problem-solving. The modules (part one, part two, and part three) combine experiential learning with more than 50 solutions journalism stories to introduce your students to the power of solutions thinking and our Success Factors, which include strategies like attacking root causes, cultivating collaborations, empowering people, expanding access, and practicing human-centered design.


Complicating the Narratives Discussion Guides

In 2018, we commissioned journalist Amanda Ripley to do groundbreaking research that she explained in a powerful essay titled “Complicating the Narratives.” Through that work, she showed how journalists can employ strategies used by conflict mediators to improve their reporting on contentious issues. Since the publication of Ripley’s original essay, we’ve developed a wide range of resources to help journalists use these practices to depolarize conversations.

The Complicating the Narratives discussion guides provide a framework for college and high school instructors to facilitate deep student engagement and reflection during classroom discussions. The guides reflect the topics in our discussion collections. Each guide includes a one-sheet summary of how to teach active listening, a discussion plan for one-on-one or small-group activities, associated solutions journalism articles and debrief prompts for the instructor. The guides are intended to encourage learners to reframe their goals, motivations and strategies when researching and debating polarizing topics.


Communicating With Your Colleagues About Teaching With Solutions Stories

Sign up for our bimonthly newsletter, Tools for Teaching, which features the latest teaching collections, examples of how your peers are using solutions stories in their teaching, and information about upcoming webinars or conference events hosted by us or one of our partner organizations. For even more solutions conversations, join our private Facebook group for peer-to-peer collaboration and idea sharing.