Mason West Group
Community Development Consulting
The basis for any learning in the PBL model is the problem. Content is not the motivating factor in the pedagogy. The solution of the problem is the motivating factor. PBL uses small group formats to make it easier for students to engage in discussion, to learn from each other as they solve problems. Ultimately, the goal of the model is not only the mastery of standards defined in the program, but also the acquisition of new knowledge that is obtained through the self-directed learning process.
PBL seeks to empower students by facilitating their development of problem-solving skills, collaboration skills, and the ability to use a self-directed process to acquire knowledge. This approach begins with the student as the center of the learning process. Student-centered learning focuses on the student’s talents, needs, learning styles, and interests rather than the teacher’s. Traditional teacher-centered models suppress the responsibility of the learner. PBL places the student at the center of the process, resulting in a vested interest by the student in their own learning. In this context teachers serve more as facilitators than they do controllers of the process.
Problem-Based Model (PBL) uses unstructured problems as a launching pad for discovery and the application of academic content and skills to real-world scenarios. PBL goes beyond short-term instructional instances or simple questions. It encompasses a rethinking of the entire curriculum, so that teachers design whole units around complex, ill-structured, problematic scenarios that embody major concepts they want their students to master.