Problem based learning

Stefanie Galgon smg4 at DANA.UCC.NAU.EDU
Wed Jul 14 19:07:34 EST 1999

Cognitive scientists promote learning using a knowledge base of practical
/ life experiences.  Every student brings unique experiences to the table.
Based on this assumption they must do there own research and work
collectively on complex, realistic problems that are anchored in the
disciplines they are studying.  They should, in short,"construct" their
own knowledge.  This outlook is parallel to other educational
philosophies, i.e. problem-based teaching / learning.  The indirect
evolution of John Dewey's teaching has seemingly provided a spring board
for the problem-based learning programs that are implemented in many 
schools throughout the US (introduced and promoted by Howard Barrows MD).
The premise behind problem-based learning charges importance to involving
students in "real" problem solving, with a basis of knowledge (fact /
content) and process.  How often can we see problem-based learning within
a University biology classroom, and would it be effective?

Ref: Ruenzel, David.  A Course of Action in Thoughtful Teachers,
Thoughtful Schools.  Editorial Projects in Education.  1998.


Stefanie Galgon			lab/message: (520) 523-7735
Department of Biology		
Northern Arizona University	smg4 at

"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death"  
Auntie Mame

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