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What is Problem Based Learning?

Posted by samanthas on February 6, 2013 in Education with No Comments

What is Problem Based Learning?

When one thinks of the typical classroom setting and curriculum, images of rows of students sitting in desks with a teacher at the front of the class dictating a lesson come to mind. The idea of the teacher disseminating information to students who then try to memorize it is the general structure of a class setting.

However, problem based learning turns the classroom into a much different setting. More interaction is involved, and much more student engagement is encouraged. In fact, there really is much less “teaching” from the teacher, and much more “student learning” with problem based learning.

Students at the Center of Learning

With problem based learning, the student is the focus of attention, rather than the lesson or the information. With “student-centred” learning, the students become much more engaged in their learning, and find their learning opportunities much more relevant. When students become more interested in what they are learning, they are much more likely to truly internalize and retain the information from their lessons.

What Does Problem Based Learning Look like in the Classroom?

Students involved in a problem based learning structure will be grouped with a small number of other students, who will then collaborate with each other in order to solve the task or problem presented to them. These “problems” are generally presented as a form of a case or challenge that will drive the students to come up with a solution. By learning in such a format, students learn how to think critically, solve problems, and work collaboratively with others.

The problems or projects are generally language based, but can include other elements of the curriculum including math, science, geography, history and social studies.  The teacher acts as a guide and facilitator, but the students must generate their own research, do the reasoning, solve the problem and make a presentation.

Students who are a part of PBL are being taught real world lessons and traits that will become valuable to them as they grow into adults and enter real world situations. The tools they take with them from their PBL projects will prove to be very useful later in life.

PBLSuperstore.com For All your PBL Needs

PBLSuperstore.com is an online resource for information, resources and ready-made units that can be immediately downloaded and used in the classroom setting. Teachers and home schooling parents alike can use these units to help engage their students and children for a truly unique and exciting learning environment.  The units are unique to the PBL Superstore and were specially designed for grades K-10 in the North American curriculum.

Visit PBLSuperstore.com today for all your PBL needs!


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