Problem-based learning in teacher education: Just the beginning!

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Despite the efforts of teaching staff to help students make connections and apply their on-campus learning to life in the classroom there exists a separation of these two worlds. While the literature on problem-based learning (PBL) in teacher education is scarce there is extensive literature in other fields providing evidence that better connections can be forged between these two worlds by using a PBL approach. A modification of our teacher education program provided the opportunity to introduce an innovation into the program. Two cases were developed with classroom teachers to challenge students to solve real-world teaching/learning problems that crossed topic boundaries. PBL tutorials were introduced as an alternative format to the mainstream seminar program in the third year subject "Development, Learning and Teaching."

This paper describes the process of developing the cases, implementing the PBL approach, andevaluating the outcomes. The authors are optimistic that the success of the PBL approach in connecting this topic to the students' practicum experience will pave the way for its adoption in other key areas of the teacher education program.