Enhancing teacher education students' generic skills through problem-based learning

  • Murray-Harvey R
  • Curtis D
  • Cattley G
 et al. 
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Claims made for the value of problem-based learning (PBL) as an effective method for professional education programmes draw on constructivist principles of teaching and learning to achieve essential content knowledge, higher order thinking skills, and a team approach to problem-solving through the interdisciplina ry, student-directed study of relevant professional problems. These essential outcomes of PBL (knowledge, higher order thinking, problem-solving, and effective team skills) are also regarded more generally across higher education as desirable qualities of graduates. The evidence that these qualities are in fact fostered through PBL is growing, but the broader implications (such as the wider impact or more far-reaching effects) of the PBL approach have yet to be examined. This paper addresses the relationship between PBL and graduate qualities in two ways. First, it reports on a study of teacher education students' assessment of their learning through PBL over time, across four areas of skill development: knowledge building; group processes; problem-solving; interpersonal effectiveness, Second, the paper examines these specific outcomes in terms of the more broadly defined qualities expected of Australian university graduates. (Contains 1 figure and 6 tables.)

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  • phillip sleeFlinders University

  • Rosalind Murray-Harvey

  • David D. Curtis

  • Georgina Cattley

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