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Problem-Based Learning

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  1. Problem-Based Learning Presented by STEVE COXON Most slides in this presentation were originally created by Janice Robbins, Ph.D. and Kimberly Chandler, Ph.D. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  2. Curriculum Framework

  3. Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) Process-Product Dimension Advanced Content Dimension Issues/Themes Dimension (VanTassel-Baska, 1986) Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  4. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  5. Science Curriculum Framework The Problem Concept Process Understanding “Systems” or “Change” Using and Conducting Scientific Research Content Learning Science Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  6. THE LEARNER Precocity Intensity Complexity THE CURRICULUM Advanced Content Process/product depth considerations Issues/concepts/themes/ ideas across domains of learning Learner Characteristics and Corresponding Emphases in the Curriculum Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary

  7. Learner Characteristics and Corresponding Emphases in the Curriculum THE LEARNER Precocity (Advanced development in some curricular area) Intensity (Capacity to focus and concentrate for long periods of time) Complexity (Can engage in high level and abstract thinking) THE CURRICULUM Advanced content (Provides opportunities for new learning) Process/product depth considerations (Enhances engagement and creative production; allows utilization of information in a generative way ) Issues/concepts/themes/ideas across domains of learning (Allows students to make connections across areas of study and to work at a level of deep understanding)

  8. Science curriculum and Problem-based Learning What teachers need to understand What students need to do PROBLEM-BASED LEARNINGPresent resolution Reach consensus on problem resolution CONCEPT OF SYSTEMS Seek new information as necessary Redefine problem as necessary UNIT CONTENT Design and conduct experiments Find and analyze information EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN Apply systems concept to problem Collaborate Understand the concept of systems Assume stake holder viewpoint Define the problem Active Interplay The Problem Adapted from Novak, J.D., & Gowin, G. B. (1984). Learning how to learn. New York: Cambridge University Press. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary

  9. Opening example

  10. Acid, Acid Problem Statement You are the supervisor of the day shift of the Virginia State Highway Patrol in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is 6:00 a.m. on a steamy June morning. You are awakened by the ringing phone. When you answer you are told, “Come to the Queen’s Creek overpass on eastbound Interstate 64. There has been a major accident and you are needed.” Quickly you dress and hurry to the overpass. As you approach the bridge, you see an overturned truck that is completely blocking both eastbound lanes of the freeway. You see “CORROSIVE” on small signs on the side and rear of the truck. The truck has lost at least one wheel and is resting on the freeway guard rail. There is a large gash in the side of the truck; from this gash, a clear liquid is running down the side of the truck, onto the road, and down the hill into Queen’s Creek. Steam is rising from the creek. All traffic has been halted and everyone has been told to remain in their cars. Many of the motorists in the traffic jam appear to be angry and frustrated. Police officers, firemen, and rescue squad workers are at the scene. They are all wearing coveralls and masks. The rescue squad is putting the unconscious truck driver onto a stretcher. Everyone seems hurried and anxious. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  11. Need to Know Board Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  12. PBL Overview

  13. What is PBL? Problem-based learning is an instructional strategy (a curricular framework) that, through student and community interests and motivation, provides an appropriate way to “teach” sophisticated content and high-level process… all while building self-efficacy, confidence, and autonomous learner behaviors. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  14. PBL is an instructional method that challenges students to "learn to learn," working cooperatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  15. History of PBL • Medical school model (Barrows) • Used in both elementary and secondary classrooms with gifted students • Adapted for use with all learners • Used to educate school administrators Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  16. PBL • engages students' curiosity and initiates learning the subject matter. • provides excellent opportunities for students to think critically and analytically, and to find and use appropriate learning resources • promotes autonomous learning Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  17. Research on PBL • Students show significant learning gains in experimental design through a PBL approach (VanTassel-Baska, et al. 2000) • Students show enhanced ‘real world’ skills with no loss in content knowledge as a result of using PBL (Gallagher & Stepein, 1996; Gallagher & Gallagher, 2003) • Students & teachers are motivated to learn using the PBL approach (VanTassel-Baska, 2000) • Students show enhanced higher order skill development using PBL over other approaches to teaching science (Dods,1997) Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  18. Students should be given problems – at levels appropriate to their maturity – that require them to decide what evidence is relevant and to offer their own interpretations of what the evidence means. This puts a premium, just as science does, on careful observations and thoughtful analysis. Students need guidance, encouragement, and practice in collecting, sorting, and analyzing evidence, and in building arguments based on it. However, if such activities are not to be destructively boring, they must lead to some intellectually satisfying payoff that students care about. -- from Science for All Americans, Project 2061 Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary

  19. Features of PBL • Learner-centered • Real world problem • Teacher as tutor or coach • Emphasis on collaborative teams • Employs metacognition • Uses alternative assessment • Embodies scientific process Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  20. PBL Roles Teacher: Present an ill-structured problem Act as a metacognitive coach Student: Create a precise problem statement Find information to solve the problem Evaluate possible solutions Create a final product Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  21. Adaptations for gifted Advanced content Complex concepts Interdisciplinary connections Reasoning, habits of mind, and self-directed learning Ethical discussions (Gallagher, 2001) Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  22. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  23. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  24. Scientific Habits of Mind Cognitive skills, affective skills, and attitudes: Curiosity Creativity Objectivity Openness to new ideas Skepticism Tolerance for ambiguity Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  25. Self-Directed Learning…Grasping Metacognition Self-monitoring performance with an intent to self-assess Recognizing gap in knowledge and set up learning agenda Identifying learning resources: print human technology-based Identifying skills needed to use resources wisely and well Sorting through information to determine needed information Questioning appropriateness of personal biases Applying information appropriately Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  26. Problem Based Learning State the problem Decide what information you need Conduct information quest Complete scientific investigations Review data & summarize findings Communicate problem resolution Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  27. What’s an “Ill-Structured” Problem? More information than initially is presented will be necessary to… understand what’s going on. know what caused it to be a problem. know how to fix it. There’s always more than one right way to figure it out. Fixed formulas won’t work. Each problem has unique components. Each problem solver has unique characteristics, background, experience. The definition of the problem shifts or changes as new information is gathered. Ambiguity is a part of the environment throughout the process. Data are often incomplete …or in conflict …or unavailable but choices must be made, anyway. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  28. Ill-Structured Problems Ambiguous No single “right” answer Data is often incomplete Definition of problem changes Information needs change or grow Stakeholders Deadline for resolution Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  29. Problem Diagnosis and Solution Building Ill-structured problem is presented What is going on? What do we know? How can we find out? Where does the information lead us? Do we have enough information? Is the information reliable? What’s the problem? Problem is represented Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  30. Video Problem-Based Learning: 3 Classrooms in Action (31 minutes) Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  31. Macro-concept: Systems

  32. Macro-Concepts • Are broad • Reveal fundamental patterns within a content area • Allow for valid connections within a content area • Apply to several content areas • Disclose fundamental similarities and differences within and across disciplines • Draw the learner deeper into the subject matter, inspiring curiosity and interest Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  33. Systems A system is a collection of items or processes that interact with each other to constitute a meaningful whole. All systems have 1) Elements 2) Boundaries 3) Interactions among elements to generate system behavior. 4) Many systems receive input and produce output. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  34. System Concept Outcomes Students will be able to: • Describe the important elements of a system • Delineate the boundaries of a system • Describe input into the system • Describe output from the system • Identify elements, boundaries, input, output (and interactions) as parts of systems • Use the terms describing systems to identify the components of the system under study • Transfer knowledge about the system studied to other systems Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  35. Elements of a System Boundary: determines what is inside the system and what is outside the system Elements: the parts that make up a system Input: anything that goes into the system from outside the system Output: anything that the system releases to the outside world Interactions: the effects that parts of the system have on each other Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  36. Analyzing a System Boundaries Elements Inputs Outputs Interactions Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  37. Interdisciplinary Applications Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  38. Overview of the Center’s PBL units and their initial problem statements

  39. Science Units What a Find!(gr. 2- 4) Where’s the Beach (gr. 2- 4) Acid, Acid Everywhere(gr. 4-6) Electricity City(gr. 4-6) Nuclear Energy Friend or Foe (gr. 6-8) No Quick Fix(gr. 6-8) Something Fishy (gr. 6-8) Animal Populations(gr. 6-8) Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  40. Anatomy of a PBL Unit Curriculum framework: goals and outcomes Set of 25 lesson plans: purpose, materials, activities, and questions Assessment: problem logs, experimental design worksheets, lab report forms, final assessment References Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  41. PBL Units What a Find! “What a Find!” is an exploration of the field of archaeology. Students are put in the role of a newly hired archaeologist who is contacted by a construction company crew that has just unearthed some artifacts. The construction company needs your input to determine what the next steps should be. Through the concept of systems, a simulation and scientific investigations of the archaeological processes, students will uncover a solution to the problem. 1999 Winner of a National Association for Gifted Children Curriculum Division Award for Outstanding Curriculum Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  42. What a Find! problem You are a newly hired assistant at a small museum that has just opened in your hometown. It is your second day on the job when you learn that the museum’s archaeologist has resigned. Later that day, the museum receives a call from a local construction site. While digging to lay a foundation for a new school, a backhoe operator uncovered numerous artifacts. The construction company has stopped work while workers wait to hear what should be done next. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  43. PBL Units Where’s the Beach? Plans for building a children’s camp at the beach are on hold because the town council is worried about beach erosion.  Since the camp received a large donation to develop nature-themed experiences, designed to teach children how to protect the environment, the camp manager wants to cooperate with the council.  The problem is that she must begin construction quickly to be ready for the summer season.  Acting as members of the town council, the students must develop scientifically-based regulations that will satisfy the long-term needs of the town and the plans for the new camp. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  44. Where’s the Beach? problem Plans for building a children’s camp at the beach town of Dunesville are on hold because the town council is worried about beach erosion. Many towns in coastal areas have been experiencing problems with erosion over the past few years. The camp received a large donation to develop nature-themed experiences, designed to teach children how to protect the environment. The camp manager wants to cooperate with the council so that the environment is protected. The problem is that she must begin construction quickly to be ready for the summer season. You are members of the town council. You must come up with scientifically based regulations that will satisfy the long-term needs of the town and the plans for the new camp. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  45. PBL Units Acid, Acid Everywhere This unit presents the structure of systems through chemistry, ecological habitats, and transportation. The unit poses an ill-structured problem that leads students into an interdisciplinary inquiry about the structure and interaction of several systems, centering around the study of an acid spill on a local highway. 1997 Winner of a National Association for Gifted Children Curriculum Division Award for Outstanding Curriculum Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  46. PBL Units Electricity City This unit provides an interdisciplinary approach to introducing students to electricity. In this simulated activity, a large recreational complex is being built in the middle of a city, and the students' role is to plan the site's electrical needs, as well as create additional backup plans. This "real world" problem requires students to analyze the situation, determine what type of research is needed, conduct experiments, and evaluate solutions. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  47. Electricity City problem You are a newly hired employee for the local power company. Your first assignment after completing the company’s orientation program is to work as part of a team that has been asked to design a recreational complex in the center of town. This project is backed by both federal and state funding. Your role is to ensure that the power (electricity) requirements are planned appropriately and are adequate for the new complex. The complex will serve the needs of all community groups including senior citizens and special needs individuals. You must also design a comprehensive backup plan for the complex. Your training in college stressed city management and planning, not electricity. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  48. PBL Units Nuclear Energy: Friend or Foe? This unit explores the effects of nuclear power waste. The topic is introduced through the eyes of a mayor of a town where a nuclear power plant is located. She must decide if the facility can expand its waste disposal techniques. What are the biological implications of radiation? What are the trade-offs with which society must live as we accept nuclear technologies into our lives? These questions are explored by students as they prepare to make recommendations about the use of the nuclear power plant in their fictitious town. Center for Gifted Education The College of William and Mary, 2009

  49. Nuclear Energy problem Your name is Christine Barrett, and you are the mayor of the town of Riverton. You have a nice home on the Back River with your husband Richard, a middle-school teacher for the Riverton School District, and six-year-old son Ellis, now entering the first grade. Your job as mayor has been rough at times, but you still enjoy it. The aspect of the town that has been giving you the most grief recently has been the Maple Island Nuclear Power Plant, the largest industry in Riverton. It produces power for not only Riverton but nearly half of the state also. Yesterday, you received a letter from your long-time friend, Jerry Brown, Vice President of Waste Management for the Maple Island Nuclear Power Plant. He was writing regarding a suggested plan for expanding the waste disposal pools at the plant to accommodate the growing number of used power assemblies. Today you receive a letter from CAFSE (Citizens Action for a Safe Environment) adamantly opposing not only the expansion of the power plant but also the fact that the plant is operating at all. An open discussion on the proposed expansion has already been slated for next month’s town council meeting. You have only five weeks to garner support for whatever position you take. Center for Gifted Education College of William and May

  50. PBL Units No Quick Fix This unit uses systems as the fundamental concept to help students understand cell and tuberculosis biology. In a series of widening concentric circles, students learn that the cells are elements in larger systems, such as the immune system of the human body. Students also interact with human social systems, including health care and public education. Students take on the role of physician and begin to search for the cause and resolution of the problem. While unraveling the interactions among various systems, students can appreciate the complexities of staying healthy in the modern world.