ERIC Number: ED398263
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr-9
A Qualitative Examination of Problem-Based Learning at the K-8 Level: Preliminary Findings.
Sage, Sara M.
Problem-based learning (PBL), often used in medical education, is an educational approach that organizes curriculum and instruction around carefully crafted "ill-structured" problems, to which students apply knowledge from multiple disciplines and critical thinking. PBL is being investigated as a teaching approach for elementary and middle schools. Its use was evaluated in three classrooms in two schools, at combined first and second grade levels, combined third and fourth grade levels, and eighth grade levels. Preliminary qualitative data have been gathered through classroom observation, semistructured interviews, and review of student-generated and classroom records. Brief case studies from each of the classrooms illustrate PBL in action at the K-8 level. Preliminary ideas for the further study of PBL are emerging, beginning with the question of whether ill-structured problems are appropriate for young students, and if so, how should they be developed? The implementation of PBL in the elementary and middle school classroom is, of necessity, very different from its implementation in medical school, and its success may rest on the careful identification of the outcomes to be desired or expected. Appendix A is an instructional template for a PBL unit, and Appendix B is a list of resource persons and organizations. (Contains 3 unnumbered tables and 23 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).