Center for Principled Problem Solving
Mission Statement: The Center for Principled Problem Solving creates and supports educational experiences that seek values-based solutions to significant social problems.
The Center for Principled Problem Solving (CPPS) is an intentional community of teachers and learners who seek to both understand and engage the world through the lenses of Guilford’s seven core values of community, diversity, equality, excellence, integrity, justice and stewardship. The CPPS provides opportunities and support for students, faculty and staff to use their knowledge, creativity, critical thinking and life experience to address problems at the campus, local and global levels. Since its inception, it has engaged students, faculty, staff members and alumni in projects, classes and events.
The PPS curriculum is a three-fold process of foundation, practice and application. It cultivates critical thinking and analysis grounded in the core values, applies it to case studies in the classroom, and then moves into the community to take on real problems that affect people’s quality of life.
Art in the CPPS
Donn Young, photographer, and Maureen Berner, UNC School of Government, have documented hunger in North Carolina through The Hunger Project. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the Center for Principled Problem Solving, the Guilford Art Gallery and the Bonner Hunger Fellows.
In response to the stereotyping of Muslims and in recognition that it is human nature to fear what we do not know, community based artist Todd Drake has worked with Muslims in North Carolina and Manama, Bahrain to create self-portraits that share real, rather than seeming, reflections of self to a wider audience. Muslims from a variety of backgrounds and living in a variety of communities participated in this series by working collaboratively with Drake to realize their own vision. Photographs, collaged images, and self-drawn portraits were created with short essays to add context. American Muslim Self Portraits were exhibited in the CPPS and Self Portraits of Muslims in Bahrain was exhibited in the Guilford College Art Gallery. The exhibits were co-sponsored by CPPS, Guilford College Art Gallery, and American Friends Service Committee.
Based on the inspiration and training provided by Todd Drake and his Muslim Self Portraits, 11 students submitted images to help us examine diversity at Guilford College. Using the photos as a springboard for significant conversation about our experiences with diversity as a community, we considered these and other questions: What does diversity mean to us? How does diversity strengthen our community? What issues of diversity need to be exposed and considered? In what ways is diversity a strength of the Guilford community? What challenges does diversity bring?
CPPS, the Photo II Class, and the Photo Club combined forces to raise funds for a student in Honduras to attend university. Public university in Honduras is free but the student needed funds for books, clothes and transportation as well as a stipend for the student’s family to offset the loss of wages while the student is attending. Two Guilford alumni asked for our assistance in this project, both of whom were involved with Guaruma, a non-profit working with communities in the Cangrejal watershed of Pico Bonito National Park in Northern Honduras on education, conservation, and self-sufficiency. Students in Honduras and Guilford students submitted photos to be sold to raise the university funds. Photos were exhibited in CPPS, in Founders and in several community venues.