Want your students to develop high-level communication skills? The ability to arrive at informed judgments? The ability to function in a global community? Flexibility, persistence, and resourcefulness? Try Problem-Based Learning.
|by Hal Portner
Regular contributor to the Gazette
March 1, 2008
We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
Want your students to develop
PBL is a set of instructional strategies and techniques characterized by the use of ‘real world’ problems as a context for students to learn critical thinking and problem solving skills while acquiring essential concepts of the curriculum.
Here is the PBL process.
What is your role as the Teacher in PBL?
In PBL, you act as facilitator and mentor. Ideally, you guide, probe and support students’ initiatives, not lecture, direct or provide easy solutions. However, the degree to which you make the process student-directed versus teacher-directed is your decision based on the size of the class and the maturity of the students. The goal is, of course, to have your students take responsible roles in their own learning.
A critical factor in the success of PBL is the problem itself. In next month’s Gazette, I will discuss the characteristics of good PBL problems and provide some examples. Meanwhile, here are a couple of related web sites you may want to check out.