HISTORY OF FUTURE PROBLEM SOLVING
Torrance's students loved their experience and wanted to continue with his activities. Soon other schools learned of what he was doing and became involved. Torrance's graduate students helped support his program, and spread the idea of FPS as they moved to different parts of he country.
In 1976-77, the FPS Bowl became the Future Problem Solving Program. Within a few years, the program was recognized nationally as an interscholastic competition and curriculum project designed to teach students problem solving and future studies. By the mid-1980s, 29 states participated, and scenario writing and the individual competition were added. Community Problem Solving was introduced in 1983-84. By 1988, there were 39 officially sanctioned programs, including Australia and New Zealand, making FPS international in scope.
Due to its continued growth around the world, Future Problem Solving International (FPSPI) now involves thousands of students annually from Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Currently, FPSPI offers four components: Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS), Scenario Writing, Community Problem Solving (CmPS), and Action-based Problem Solving (AbPS).
Wisconsin Future Problem Solving
Wisconsin Future Problem Solving was started in 1981 by Marilyn Bendiksen and Bill Hartje.
For the first few years, our program partnered with the Wisconsin Council for the Gifted and
Talented (WCGT). We gave several presentations at their annual conference and emphasized the
program's benefits for gifted and talented students. WCGT supported our efforts, promoted the program, and kept the finances under their umbrella. Our first State Bowl was held in the spring of 1982.
Wisconsin FPS became an autonomous program a few years later and furthered the program to students of all abilities. We incorporated on July 13, 2006. Today, the Wisconsin Future Problem Solving Program includes students and coaches from many cities and towns throughout Wisconsin and continues to grow.
Click here to download historical perspectives
from Marilyn Bendiksen and Bill Hartje.
Future Problem Solving was founded by creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, who was concerned with the lack of creativity and knowledge of the future among young people in America. Inspired by the work of Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes, developers of the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process, he developed a strategy to stimulate critical and creative thinking skills, and encourage students to develop a vision for the future. When he was invited to work with a group of gifted students at a local high school, he decided to test his idea. Hence, the original Future Problem Solving Bowl was held in Athens, Georgia, in 1974.
FPS taught me a problem solving process that I still use today. Whether the problem is global warming or an aging voting system, the steps to address it are largely the same.
State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board