ERIC Number: EJ1138903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
From Saying to Doing Interdisciplinary Learning: Is Problem-Based Learning the Answer?
Active Learning in Higher Education, v18 n1 p51-61 Mar 2017
Problem-based learning is often characterised as an approach encompassing interdisciplinary learning; however, little attention has been explicitly paid to what a claim of interdisciplinary problem-based learning means in practice. Even less attention has been given to address the consequences of interdisciplinary problem-based learning for students, teachers and institutions of higher education. This article examines the intentions and principles of interdisciplinary learning and problem-based learning, respectively. This examination reveals considerable overlaps of the two perspectives which, it is argued, make problem-based learning a potentially compelling pedagogical practice conducive for students' learning across disciplines. The second part of this article addresses three distinct barriers which need to be addressed in order to realise the potentials of interdisciplinary learning in problem-based settings. These barriers are related to the organisation of curriculum, developing student competencies to navigate with interdisciplinary problems and developing teacher competencies to meet student's needs. The conclusion is that interdisciplinary learning cannot be taken for granted in problem-based settings, and only if issues of interdisciplinary learning are specifically addressed can problem-based learning be considered a pedagogical approach adequately scaffolding interdisciplinary learning in higher education. Consequently, more research is needed to fully comprehend the potentials of problem-based learning as conducive for interdisciplinary learning. Particularly, research into the scaffolding of interdisciplinary learning in problem-based learning is required.
Descriptors: Interdisciplinary Approach, Teaching Methods, Barriers, Problem Based Learning, Student Needs, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Epistemology, Teacher Competencies, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A