- Children need to start making real-life connections between what they learn and their daily lives and develop resilience. Problem-based Learning is therefore the ideal pedagogy for today’s world.
- For successful problem solving, they cannot work in stills and have to make the connection between several disciplines and efficiently weave them together to conclude.
- The educator’s role is simply to guide while ensuring that it is mainly a learner-driven effort.
The traditional way of learning is now a thing of the past. A teacher is no longer a ‘sage on the stage’ but a passionate guide, who focuses on developing interest and encouraging the student to explore. This has resulted in children getting exposed to a vast range of concepts at an early age and being equipped to delve deeply into them. However, there is much more that needs to be done. Children need to start making real-life connections between what they learn and their daily lives and develop resilience. Problem-based Learning is therefore the ideal pedagogy for today’s world.
What is Problem-based Learning?
Problem-based Learning requires pupils to work together to explore, find solutions, and dig deeper into real-world problems. For successful problem solving, they cannot work in stills and have to make the connection between several disciplines and efficiently weave them together to conclude. Sometimes in PBL, students are left with questions and therefore this motivates them to keep researching in search of better solutions.
Real-world problem solving develops important aptitudes in the students such as reasoning, research, social engagement, and the 4Cs-creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. Also, lessons learned ‘by doing’ are likely to stay there for longer than mere book learning.
What are the Best Practices for Problem-based Learning?
Effective Problem-based Learning must begin with identifying real and local problems either from the school or neighboring community. Guided by the teacher, students must themselves conduct a needs analysis or visit the local areas and talk to the locals about issues such as waste management, overcrowding at market places, etc.
Students must then discuss with their teachers and come up with a specific question or questions that will drive their inquiry and decide on objectives which they will be working towards. They must also come up with possible challenges and strategies they may face, and reference sources and materials which they can use. This entire process of planning and execution, the educator’s role is simply to guide while ensuring that it is mainly a learner-driven effort.
The Top 10 Ideas for Problem-based Learning Exercises
It is difficult for educators to continuously guide students to come up with innovative ideas and queries. As a solution to this, we have collated a few ideas which amalgamate many essential concepts. Students will gain a great learning experience while attempting to solve them:
● Devise a strategy to minimize the food-wastage at your school cafeteria and come up with a utilization plan for the daily leftover food.
● What steps can be taken to address the issue of the declining population of sparrows in India and your neighborhood?
● How can you improve accessibility to healthy and hygienic food in your local area?
● Which is the best place to set-up a children’s park so that children from all neighborhoods can have access to it?
● At what height should we place the dustbins in the area so that everyone, including young children, can have access to it?
● What can be done to stop people from using single-use plastic?
● What can be done to address the issue of e-waste management?
● How can we utilize solar and wind energy in our daily lives?
● How can the transmission of flu and cold be stopped among the children of the school?
● What can be done to manage the traffic near the school at the time of dispersal?
Problem-based Learning is important because not only does it help students develop a scientific temper, but it prepares students to become future ‘assets’ to society, with a high level of empathy, who work well with their peers and can effectively solve real-world problems.