ERIC Number: ED406406
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Exploring Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in Grades 6-12.
Achilles, C. M.; Hoover, S. P.
Problem-based learning (PBL) has been used in medical education and has been extended to the preparation of educational administrators. PBL should improve education at the elementary and secondary levels because it can be a vehicle for integrating curriculum, constructing alternative assessments, accommodating instruction for longer blocks of time, and promoting active and group learning. Faculty in three middle schools and one high school (seven teachers and the principal from each middle school and one-third of the high school faculty) were trained in PBL. This paper presented the initial assessments of training, PBL implementation, and the results of its use in grades six through nine. The enthusiastic faculties at first designed PBL activities that were long and complex, but they came to agree that shorter PBLs may be more prudent and effective. A major concern was student difficulty in working in groups. This suggested a need for group process training with students before implementing PBL. Regular schedules required creative planning for PBL efforts. Teachers have reported generally positive PBL outcomes; testing results from spring 1996 will provide information about teacher-reported gains. Success in using PBLs appears linked to carefully planned and relatively brief problems that are reviewed frequently. Appendixes summarize problem types, change process levels, feedback responses, and using PBL in grades five through nine. (Contains two figures, two tables, and nine references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Educational Assessment, Educational Improvement, Group Instruction, High School Students, High Schools, Instructional Effectiveness, Integrated Activities, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Problem Based Learning, Problem Solving, Program Implementation, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education, Teachers, Teaching Methods, Test Construction, Training
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Tuscaloosa, AL, November 1996).