Importance Of Problem Based Learning

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Introduction. PBL is a learner-centered approach introduced by Medical faculty at McMaster University in Canada, almost 50 years ago. Its origin comes from information processing theory, which suggests that learning is more effective when learners are motivated to restructure their previous knowledge based on additional information from a realistic context and by reflecting about recently acquired knowledge. Currently, it’s largely employed in medical education worldwide, but also in other fields. This methodology considers the content of the curriculum, the way of learning is processed and empowers the student on learning process (“learning how to learn”). The aim of the article is to clear up the main points of PBL and to observe the ways…show more content…
The reason is that several variations of PBL have been implemented and studied. Schmidt (1995) made an attempt at providing a general characterization of PBL: “A collection of carefully constructed and engaging “problems” is presented to small groups of students. These problems usually consist of a description of a set of observable phenomena, situations, or events. The task of the group is to discuss these problems and elaborate on tentative explanations for the phenomena in terms of some underlying process, principle, or mechanisms” (Schmidt, 1995, p. 247). Problem-based learning is a learning approach that seeks to create a link between theoretical knowledge and practice (Cockrell & Caplow, 2000). PBL is based on the concepts of Lev Vygotskyi about Social Development Theory, which considers learning as a social construction of knowledge. Due to this origin, PBL recognizes nothing can be learned in totality and learning needs to be shared among transdisciplinary groups (Missimer & Connell, 2012). It is essential to have collaborative groups in learning contexts to explore, analyze and solve the problems presented (Cockrell & Caplow, 2000). PBL main goals…show more content…
A student-centered approach provides the students with the opportunity to determine what they need to learn: to derive the key issues of the problems they face, define their knowledge gaps, and pursue and acquire the missing knowledge (Barrows, 2002; Hmelo-Silver & Barrows, 2006). 3. Teachers act as facilitators or tutors in the learning process. 4. Problems are selected from professional or “real world” (Barrows, 2002). The problems are inherently cross-disciplinary and require students to investigate multiple subjects (Barrows, 1996) in order to generate a workable solution. 5. PBL is typically undertaken in a small group setting (Barrows, 2002; Hmelo-Silver & Barrows, 2006). While groups of five to nine students were used in the original McMaster model for PBL (Barrows, 1996), these later definitions allow for the possibility of PBL without small group work. Thus, cases of large group PBL which were investigated by Barrows with favorable results (Barrows, Myers, Williams & Moticka, 1986). Problem-based learning as a method of instruction stands firm within the rationalist tradition and is strongly influenced by cognitive psychology. Its roots can be traced to Dewey’s plea for the fostering of independent learning and who stressed the importance of learning in response to and in interaction with real-life events, and also to Bruner’s notion of intrinsic motivation as an internal force that drives the person (Schmidt,

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