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Problem-Based Learning in Peruvian Higher Education: Science and Math Education for Future Public School Teachers. Dra. Ana Pastor de Abram Prof. Victoria Landa Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Dr. George Watson. Synergy in Development 2005 Washington, July 27- 29, 2005.

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Problem-Based Learningin Peruvian Higher Education:Science and Math Educationfor Future Public School Teachers

Dra. Ana Pastor de Abram

Prof. Victoria LandaPontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Dr. George Watson

Synergy in Development 2005

Washington, July 27- 29, 2005


Delaware, USA

Dela where?



Statistic Information

Peruvian Universities : 69

Public : 35

Private : 34

problems in math and science education in the public schools in peru

Problems in Math and Science Education in the Public Schools in Peru

There is an extreme achievement gap between private and public schools in Peru.

Results of International Standardized Tests (public schools):Last place in Latin America TIMS 1996 PISA 2002

professional development of teachers at present

Professional Development of Teachers at Present

Pre service teachers do not receive quality math and science courses in the public institutions of education.

2. Science content courses and science pedagogy courses are not well articulated in the pre-service teacher curriculum, so teachers are not well equipped with effective teaching methods.



The incorporation of Problem-Based Learning as a strategy in the professional development of future math and science teachers will help to better articulate math and science content with pedagogy in an efficient way.

what is problem based learning
What is Problem-Based Learning?

PBL is an learning approach that

challenges students to “learn to learn,”

working cooperatively in groups

to seek solutions to real world problems.

PBL prepares students

to think critically and analytically, and

to find and use appropriate learning resources.

what is problem based learning9
What is Problem-Based Learning?

“The principal idea behind PBL is that the starting point for learning should be a problem, a query, or a puzzle that the learner wishes to solve.”

Boud (1985)

what are the common features of pbl
What are the CommonFeatures of PBL?

Learning is initiated by a problem.

Problems are based on complex, real-world situations.

All information needed to solve problem is not initially given.

Students identify, find, and use appropriate resources.

Students work in permanent groups.

pbl the process
PBL: The Process

Students are presented with a problem. They organize ideas and previous knowledge.

Students pose questions, defining what they know and do not know.

Students assign responsibility for questions, discuss resources.

Students reconvene, explore newly learned information, refine questions.


The Problem-BasedLearning Cycle


(when desired)


Problem, Project, or Assignment


(as needed)

Whole Class Discussion

Group Discussion

Preparation of Group “Product”


Group Discussion

activities at pucp during the first year

Activities at PUCP during the First Year

2. Designing the first PBL workshop at PUCP

Nov 2002 – Jan 2003

Training of six PUCP

professors at UD

Oct 2002

3. PBL workshop in Lima. February 2003

4. Implementation of PBL and Cooperative Learning. From March to July 2003


Activities at PUCP during the First Year

5. Mentoring of the innovative experiences. From March to July 2003

  • Second PBL workshop
  • in Lima. July 2003
  • Internal evaluation.
  • July 2003
activities in pucp during the second year
Activities in PUCP during the Second Year
  • Implementation of courses in PBL and CL methodologies at PUCP continued during the second semester (July to December, 2003).
  • PBL workshop for professors who teach courses for pre service math and science, public school teachers and professors at other universities. (Feb. 2004)
  • Assessment of the implementation of the innovations in PUCP and these additional institutions from March to July, 2004.

Activities in PUCP during the Second Year

4. Workshop “Diseño de Problemas, Procesos y Evaluación en el Método ABP”for professors at PUCP. July 2004.

  • Colaborative methods in PUCP
  • Are they worth the trouble?
  • 15, 16 July 2004

6. Evaluation of project.

September 2004


PUCP Professor Leaderstrained in PBL at UD

Luis Bretel Philosophy

Isabel Landa Chemistry

Patricia Morales Chemistry

Patrizia Pereyra Physics

Carlos Pizarro Physics

Jorge Quiroz Physics

Emilio Gonzaga Math

Cecilia Gaita Math

Wilmer Atoche Math

Victoria Ramirez Engineering

Miguel Cataño Engineering

Quino Valverde Engineering


Workshops 2003 - 2004





1° y 2° : PUCP + others

3° : public institutions

4° : PUCP


Training of 316 Individuals

Public institutions

PUCP 2003



PUCP 2004


Examples of Courses at PUCP that Incorporate PBL

  • Sciences
  • Math 1, 2 and 3
  • Physics 1 and 2
  • Chemistry 1 and 2
  • Statics
  • Dynamics
  • Technical drawing
  • Engineering
  • Thermodynamics
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Automatic control
  • Hydrology
  • Communication theory
  • Plant Engineering
  • Geology and Mineralogy Lab.
  • Mechanical drawing

Participants in Training at PUCP:

  • Foreign guests:
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • México

National guests:

  • School Fé y Alegría
  • Instituto Superior Pegagógico de Monterrico
  • Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
  • Universidad Enrique Guzmán y Valle
  • Universidad Nacional Federico Villareal
  • Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería
  • Universidada nacional Agraria, La Molina
futures activities outside lima 2005 2006
Futures Activities outside Lima2005 - 2006

Workshop: Problem Based Learning

Arequipa, Perú: 19 –21 August 2005

Universidad Nacional de San Agustín

Participants from: Arequipa, Tacna, Cuzco and Puno

Workshop: Problem Based Learning

Chiclayo, Perú: 20 –22 January 2006

Universidad Nacional Pedro Ruiz Gallo

Participants from: Tumbes, Piura, Chiclayo, Trujillo and Cajamarca.

outside per
Outside Perú
  • PUCP Professors provided PBL workshops in other countries:

Chile (Universidad del Bio Bio, Universidad Católica del Norte, Universidad de Antofagasta (Chile),

México (Universidad de Colima) and

Colombia (Corporación Universitaria Autónoma de Cali).

  • Professors from Chile, Cuba, Colombia and Mexico visited PUCP (in last 2 years), to observe and learn about our PBL experiences.

Additional Results

  • Translation into Spanish and publication of the “Power of Problem Based Learning”
  • (A book about Delaware experiences)
  • The current preparation of a new book that presents PUCP PBL experiences and researches in several departments (in science and engineering).

Additional Results

  • The continuous increase of number of professors who now are discussing and reflecting about teaching and learning.
  • Two engineering departments (Electronic and Mechanical), are transforming their curriculum into a PBL format (like the “hybrid curriculum” of Queen’s University of Canada), etc.
  • Many private and public institutions (schools and universities) are interested in our PBL experiences and want to participate in PBL training.


1) A Case-study of PBL in Chemistry 1

Patricia Morales and Jürgen Dienstmeier. GIDEEQ-GroupSciences Department, Chemistry Section, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

2)More than a good final mark: Achievements in the Implementation of PBL in General Chemistry Courses within the Context of a University Strategic Plan. Patricia Morales and Juan Sánez. GIDEEQ-Group



3)El ABP en la enseñanza de las ciencias. (Cuba)

Patricia Morales Bueno

4) Application of the pbl in teaching the course of technical drawing for engineering.

Victoria Ramírez Valdivia and Ana Luna Torres

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Civil Engineering Department


New Book

“Three years of PBL at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú: Experiences and Results”

Fondo Editorial Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 2005

1st Part: Articles

2do Part: PBL Problem