Issues in Implementing a Structured Problem-based Learning Strategy in a Volcano Unit: A Case Study
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
The purpose of this study was to understand how an 8th grade science class used a structured problem-based learning (PBL) strategy to study volcanoes and to discuss some of the issues that science teachers might encounter when designing and implementing the PBL strategy. This study took place at Collins Middle School, which is located in a cosmopolitan community in Illinois. The PBL lessons, which a teacher taught cooperatively with his student-teacher, required ten class periods to study two real-life volcanic phenomena. The guiding research questions were: (a) in what ways did the teachers (Mr. Brown and Ms. Jones) facilitate student learning about volcanoes using the PBL strategy?; and (b) what were the students’ engagements like during the PBL classes on a volcano unit? This study’s findings supported three main assertions: first, the teachers’ questions and group dynamics guided and facilitated the students’ course of learning; second, with the teachers’ specific guidance, the students collaboratively built up their supporting evidence; most of the supporting evidence was much more developed than just listing the terms or simple facts on volcanoes; and, third, there existed a tension between the teachers’ ideals and the implementation of the PBL strategy. They tended to slip into the traditional role of focusing on scientific facts about volcanoes.
- Aikenhead, G.S. (2003). Review of research on humanistic perspectives in science curricula. A paper presented at the European Science Education Research Association. Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, August, 2003.
- Angeli, C. (2002). Teachers’ practical theories for the design and implementation of problem-based learning. Science Education International, 13(3), 9–15.
- Arambula-Greenfield, T. (1996). Implementing problem-based learning in a college science class. Journal of College Science Teaching, 26(1), 26–30.
- Boud, D. & Feletti, G. (1991). The challenge of problem-based learning. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Burruss, J. (1999). Problem-based learning. Science Scope, 22(6), 46–49.
- Chin, C. & Chia, L. (2004). Problem-based learning: Using students questions to drive knowledge construction. Science Education, 88, 707–727. CrossRef
- Chin, C. & Chia, L. (2005). Problem-based learning: Using ill-structured problems in biology project work. Science Education, 89, 1–24. CrossRef
- Crawford, B.A. (2000) Embracing the essence of inquiry: new roles for science teachers. J Res Sci Teach 37(9):916–937 CrossRef
- Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920. New York: Teachers College Press.
- Dunkhase, J.A. & Penick, J.E. (1990). Problem solving in the real world. Journal of College Science Teaching, 19(6), 367–370.
- Finkle, S.L. & Torp, L.L. (1995). Introductory documents. Aurora, IL: The Center for Problem-Based Learning, Illinois Math and Science Academy.
- Gallagher, S., Sher, B.T., Stepien, W.J. & Workman, D. (1995). Implementing problem-based learning in science classrooms. School Science and Mathematics, 95(3), 136–146.
- Gordon, P. (1998). Balancing real-world problems with real-world results. Phi Delta Kappan, 79(5), 390–393.
- Gordon, P., Rogers, A., Comfort, M., Gavula, N. & McGee, B. (2001). A taste of problem-based learning increases achievement of urban minority middle-school students. Educational Horizons, 79(4), 171–175.
- Lincoln, Y.S. & Guba, E.G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
- Margetson, D. (1991). Why is problem-based learning a challenge? In D. Boud & G. Feletti (Eds.), The challenge of problem based learning. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Meier, S., Hovde, R. & Meier, R. (1996). Problem solving: Teachers perceptions, content area models and interdisciplinary connections. School Science and Mathematics, 96, 230–237. CrossRef
- National Research Council (1996). National science education standards. Washington, D.C.: National Academic Press.
- Norman, G. & Schmidt, H. (1992). The psychological basis of problem-based learning: A review of the evidence. Academic Medicine, 67, 557–565. CrossRef
- Schmidt, H.G. (1993). Foundations of problem-based learning: Rationale and description. Medical Education, 17, 11–16. CrossRef
- Stake, R.E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
- Stepien, W. & Gallagher, S. (1993). Problem-based learning: As authentic as it gets. Educational Leadership, 50(7), 25–28.
- Ward, J.D. & Lee, C.L. (2002). A review of problem-based learning. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Education, 20(1), 16–26.
- Yager, R.E. (1989). A rationale for using personal relevance as a science curriculum focus in schools. School Science and Mathematics, 89(2), 144–156.
- Issues in Implementing a Structured Problem-based Learning Strategy in a Volcano Unit: A Case Study
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Volume 6, Issue 4 , pp 655-676
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- case study
- classroom implementation
- earth science
- problem-based learning (PBL) strategy
- teachers’ role