Problem-based learning (PBL) helps students build problem-solving skills, while learning the content necessary to apply them. Student work begins with an ill-defined problem, which links something important in the student's daily life to the classroom. The student defines the "what, where, and how" of resolving the problem.
Problem-based learning rests on the firm foundation of a teacher's work behind the scenes. The teacher develops a problem long before a student sees it, specifically choosing the skills and content the problem will emphasize and matching those to curriculum and standards. Though a PBL problem will have no "right" answer, the teacher structures the experience so that specific learning takes place as a student generates the problem-solving steps, researches issues, and produces a final product.
Robert Delisle details the PBL process, the teacher's role, and background information about PBL. The book contains a variety of PBL lessons, including problems, a chart for organizing student research, and information about assessment.
(ASCD E-Book, 1997) Downloadable PDF File.
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