Problem-based Learning in the 21st Century Classroom

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Problem-based Learning in the 21st Century Classroom by Mind Map: Problem-based Learning in the 21st Century Classroom

1. Paragraph 1: Introduction

1.1. Begin by explaining what authentic and problem-based learning is and why is is important

1.2. Use quote from Lombardi: ""Authentic learning typically focuses on real-world, complex problems and their solutions, using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice" (3).

1.3. Personal Reason: When I was in high school, I was lucky enough to receive an education where I got to have lots of authentic opportunities (such as conducting experiments and writing published lab papers, or holding art galleries, or going out into the community to work at an adult day center to learn how to teach art projects) that I felt helped me grow as a person and student. Thus, I have always been adamant that teaching needs to take this student centered approach.

1.4. End introduction with the sentences "Through this paper, I will address two of the main problems teachers face when trying to integrate authentic learning in the classroom: mistaking problem-based learning with problem-solving learning, and feeling as though it is impossible or improbable to mimic real life scenarios in the classroom. I will also address the relationship between authentic learning and arts education, which, as an art teacher, is an important thing for me to consider". This will act as my thesis for the paper.

2. Paragraph 2: Problem Solving Learning VS Problem Based Learning

2.1. Savin-Baden, M. (2003). Prologue. Facilitating Problem-Based Learning: Illuminating Perspectives. (pp. 1-6). Berkshire England: SRHE and Open University Press.

2.1.1. "Yet there remains confusion about the difference between problem-based learning and problem-solving learning. To summarize: in problem solving learning, the learning problem scenarios are set within and are bounded by a discrete subject or disciplinary area. In some curricula, students are given specific training in problem-solving techniques, but in many cases they are not. The focus in this kind of learning is largely upon acquiring the answers expected by the lecturer, answers that are rooted in the information supplied in some way to the students. Thus the solutions are always linked to a specific curricular content which is seen as vital for students to cover for them to be competent and effective practitioners. In problem-based learning, the focus is on organizing the curricular content around problem scenarios rather than subjects or disciplines. Students work in groups or teams to resolve or manage these scenarios but they are not expected to acquire a predetermined series of right answers. Instead, they are expected to engage with the complex scenario presented to them and decide what information they need to learn and what skills they need to gain in order to manage the situation effectively" (2), I will need to shorten this quote or break it up significantly when using in paper.

2.1.2. Basically, a lot of teachers want to use problem-based learning in the classroom, but instead use problem-solving learning. They have good intentions, but simply don't understand what problem-based learning truly is. They are still teaching on the surface, instead of digging deeper into the valuable skill sets students need to learn

2.2. Talks about why teachers who do try to implement problem-based learning are failing to actually do so.

3. Paragraph 3: Using Technology to make Authentic Learning More Reachable

3.1. Lombardi, M. (2007, May). Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview. Educause Learning Initiative.

3.1.1. "Thanks to the emergence of a new set of technological tools, we can offer students a more authentic learning experience based on experimentation and action. With the help of the Internet and a variety of communication, visualization, and simulation technologies, large numbers of undergraduates can begin to reconstruct the past, observe phenomena using remote instruments, and make valuable connections with mentors around the world. With access to online research communities, learners are able to gain a deeper sense of a discipline as a special “culture” shaped by specific ways of seeing and interpreting the world (3).

3.1.2. "Authentic learning typically focuses on real-world, complex problems and their solutions, using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice" (3).

3.1.3. In this article, Lombardi discusses how important authentic learning is, since the rapidly changing world requires students who can problem solve and adapt. She then goes on to explain that, in classrooms, sometimes authentic learning is not used due simply to the fact that it is so difficult to reproduce real life experiences in the classroom. However, with the new technological advances, more real life scenarios can be simulated, giving students rare opportunities they otherwise would not.

3.2. McFarline A. (1997). Where Are We and How Did We Get Here? Information Technology and Authentic Learning: Realizing the Potential of Computers in the Primary Classroom. (pp. 3-12). London: Routlage.

3.2.1. "When, ultimately, pupils have access to major archives at the touch of a button, what will be the value of memorized information? [...] Already this is of questionable value, given the rate of growth of knowledge. The ability to find, interpert, and evaluate information is far more important, as are the skills relating to problem-solving and critical thinking" (3)

3.2.2. Basically, the chapter written by McFarline discusses how much technology has changed, and how we need to begin implementing it in our classrooms so our students can begin learning how to become technologically savvy. Also, she goes on to explain how she feels that computers offer the possibility to explore different authentic problems, and how students can use them to do experiments and test skills, instead of just using them to find information.

3.3. Talks about how teachers often say that it is too difficult to integrate real-life scenarios into the classroom. Though it can be tricky or costly, new technological advances are breaking through these barriers. Also, with how much technology is progressing in terms of replacing the need for the human memory, using problem-based learning that teachings skills and adaptation is becoming more of a necessity.

4. Paragraph 4: How Authentic Learning and Arts Learning interact

4.1. Miller, A. (2013, April 15). Project-Based Learning as a Context for Arts Integration. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/PBL-context-for-arts-integration-andrew-miller .

4.1.1. Using problem based learning in the classroom creates opportunities for teachers to integrate the visual arts into their classrooms. Thus, the valuable skills of art creation can span through the subjects in a way it previously has not, creating a more holistic education.

4.1.2. "Project-based learning can provide an intentional and effective opportunity to integrate the arts across disciplines and curriculum. While valuable as a stand-alone discipline, arts education can be given further power and value when used in a PBL project as part of the core curriculum"

4.2. Mohammed, Z.B. (2014, September 21-23). Visual Arts Teaching and Learning: Effects of Problem Based Learning Method (PBLM) and Traditional Teaching Method (TTM) on Pupils Artistic Process Skills in the North East Region, Nigeria, West Africa. South Africa International Conference on Education (pp. 50-57).

4.2.1. "The results showed that pupils taught visual arts using the PBL performed significantly better in acquiring artistic process skills than those taught using the TTM"

4.2.2. This article discusses a study done in a visual arts classroom in Nigeria, where some students were taught lessons using problem based learning, and others were taught using traditional teaching methods. The students who had the problem-based learning did significantly better, proving the place of this type of learning in an arts classroom. The sample size was somewhat small (399 students) which is a hinderence to the reliability of the study. However, there were four separate schools used, which helps.

4.2.3. "People live in a time of visualization, the time in which visual information are more common than verbal"

4.3. Talks about how problem-based learning has been proven through research to benefit the visual arts classroom. Furthermore, problem-based learning goes beyond simply helping the visual art integration in an art class, and pushes teachers in other subject areas to integrate it, which is important in this hyper connected world where the use of visuals is a valuable tool, and where creativity and the ability to create is important.

5. Paragraph 5: Conclusion