PBL – one more problem in education?

Problem based learning is actually NOT a problem – it is the solution we as educators have been looking for.

While I was researching PBL’s I came across PROBLEM based learning and PROJECT based learning.  I was quite confused with the two acronyms until I read the article in Education World.  The author states that the main difference is that problem-based focuses on the problem and the process.  Project-based focuses on the product. Both of the PBL’s have GREAT attributes as well that can be applied in the classroom immediately.

Project-based learning and problem-based learning have a great deal in common. Both

  • involve realistic problems and situations.
  • are based on authentic educational goals.
  • include formative and summative evaluation,
  • are learner centered and teacher facilitated.
  • are intrinsically engaging and motivating.
  • are frequently multidisciplinary.
  • Improve students’ research and problem-solving skills, as well as their ability to work cooperatively with their peers.

I am all about efficiency – let’s combine the two PBL’s into one  – and I do love instant gratification so the wheels started turning as I was thinking of ways to implement PBL’s in my classroom.

As I have stated before, this year has been a transition for me, not only in changing continents, but also teaching middle school and high school AND having 6 classes in which to prep.  Just when I thought I was finally getting the hang of things, I heard from my colleagues that we are switching classes and students in January.   OY VEY!

Before I began to crumbe into a pile of despair and desperation, I decided to look on the bright side.  One good thing that can come from this influx of change is that I have a clean slate.  I will have new students with fresh faces and fervent attitudes about American Literature and World Literature!  Yeah right!  Well, if that won’t exist, then maybe I can have a clean slate in the classroom and look at ways to implement PROBLEM BASED LEARNING.

Mrs. Geisers class website gave me some wonderful ideas of starting with PBL’s in the reading classroom.

Education does not have to be an “unfair game.”  When students feel successful in the classroom – there are no PROBLEMS!  I want/need to THINK DIFFERENTLY!

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3 Responses to PBL – one more problem in education?

  1. Profile photo of Mary Carley Mary Carley says:

    Thank you for that simple explanation regarding the difference between PBL and PBL.
    Process vs. product. The challenge for me is that I work in a school where grades are valued and required and I have much more experience grading products than processes! And in grading individuals rather than groups. I can do this!

    • Mary,
      Thanks for the comment – I agree with your challenge as it is ingrained in me as well to focus on the product. Most schools will enforce this as well, but the more I am reading in this CoETaIL class, the more I am learning that students need CHANCES to get to that Mastery level – the process. This year I have many students in my class that simply cannot meet that standard on the first try. Even after tutoring, repeat chances and more review, there are students that still only are mastering about 75% of the material. I need to find ways to grade that process of acheievement from 50% – 75% even if it is not the GRADE that the school wants to see. It is difficult, but I am determined!
      Yes, you can do this!

  2. Profile photo of beshugordon beshugordon says:

    Experts say that one of PBL advantage is that it makes the school like real life. That can also help the students to remember content for longer periods of time. When the students have voice and a choice, it opens up their minds to ask questions and to speak what they know. Participation in projects based learning activities builds interest in learning more than just listening to the teacher.


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