This classroom discussion. Problem-based learning shares its intellectual

This paper is about problem-based learning (PBL) and
its use in promoting higher-level thinking in problem-oriented situations,
including learning how to learn. The model is also referred to by other names,
such as project-based instruction, authentic learning, and anchored
instruction. Most important, the teacher provides scaffolding—a supportive
framework—that enhances inquiry and intellectual growth. Problem-based learning
cannot occur unless teachers create classroom environments in which an open and
honest exchange of ideas can occur. In this respect, many parallels exist among
problem-based learning, cooperative learning, and classroom discussion.
Problem-based learning shares its intellectual roots with concept and
inquiry-based teaching.

features of Problem-Based Learning

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Various developers of problem-based learning
(Cognition & Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1990, 1996a, 1996b; Krajcik
& Czerniak, 2007; Slavin, Madden, Dolan, & Wasik, 1994) have described
the instructional model as having the following features:

• Driving question or problem. Rather
than organizing lessons around particular academic principles or skills,
problem-based learning organizes instruction around questions and problems that
are both socially important and personally meaningful to students. They address
real-life situations that evade simple answers and for which competing
solutions exist.

• Interdisciplinary focus. Although a
problem-based lesson may be centred in a particular subject (Language, Science,
Engineering), the actual problem under investigation is chosen because its
solution requires students to delve into many subjects. For example, ……

• Authentic investigation. Problem-based
learning necessitates that students pursue authentic investigations that seek
real solutions to real problems. They must analyze and define the problem,
develop hypotheses and make predictions, collect and analyze information,
conduct experiments (if appropriate), make inferences, and draw conclusions.
The particular investigative methods used, of course, depend on the nature of
the problem being studied.

• Production of artefacts and exhibits.
Problem-based learning requires students to construct products in the form of artefacts
and exhibits that explain or represent their solutions. A product could be a
mock debate like the one in the…….. It could be a report, a physical model,
a video, a computer program, or a student constructed Web site. Artefacts and
exhibits, as will be described later, are planned by students to demonstrate to
others what they have learned and to provide a refreshing alternative to the
traditional term paper or exam.

• Collaboration. Like the cooperative
learning model, problem based learning is characterized by students working
with one another, most often in pairs or small groups. Working together
provides motivation for sustained involvement in complex tasks and enhances
opportunities for shared inquiry and dialogue, and for the development of
social skills. Problem-based learning was not designed to help teachers convey
huge quantities of information to students. Direct instruction and presentation
are better suited to this purpose. Rather, problem-based learning was designed
primarily to help students develop their thinking, problem-solving, and
intellectual skills; learn adult roles by experiencing them through real or
simulated situations; and become independent, autonomous learners.