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Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning
An Inquiry Approach

Second Edition

December 2006 | 192 pages | Corwin

A step-bystep guide for teaching your students to think critically and solve complex problems!

In a world with increasingly global economies and competition, students need to learn how to think critically and analytically, and to apply their imaginations to solve complex problems. Problem-based learning (PBL) does just that, helping students identify problems, pose their own questions, research answers, report results, and create a stake in their own learning. While teachers know the benefits, they are sometimes challenged by the process.

Expert John Barell troubleshoots the PBL process for teachers. Basic procedures make this remarkably effective teaching model accessible and highly doable for all teachers, from beginners to veterans. The author draws on practical classroom experiences and incorporates methods that are widely praised by reviewers and users of the first edition. This standards-based, teacher-friendly second edition includes:

  • A step-by-step method to simplify the process
  • Examples showing problem-based learning in action
  • Answers to frequently asked questions on standards-based implementation
  • Thorough guidelines for developing problems for students to solve and letting them develop their own
  • Rubrics and assessment tips to ensure that standards are met

Problem-Based Learning, Second Edition offers an easy-to-follow, rich teaching model for all teachers and grade levels, enabling you to confidently engage students for more meaningful learning and success, both inside and outside the classroom!

Part 1. Preparation
1. An Inquiry Process
2. Designing the Invitational Environment
3. A Curricular Overview
Part 2. Application
4. Teacher-Directed Inquiry
5. Teacher-Student Shared Inquiry
6. Student-Directed Inquiry
7. Multidisciplinary Approaches
8. Assessment, Application, and Reflection
Appendix A

"Deserves a place on every educator's bookshelf. This book offers multiple examples of easy and practical ways to incorporate problem-based inquiry into every classroom."

Jeff Robbins, Science Teacher
Roosevelt Intermediate School, Westfield, NJ

"An easy-to-read, straightforward approach to improving student achievement. This valuable resource refocuses on what is most important in our educational system: getting kids to think for themselves."

Randal M. Koch, Principal
Earle Brown Elementary School, Brooklyn Center, MN

"Barell shares numerous examples from teachers and students to illustrate what inquiry looks like and provides the necessary tools and step-by-step guidelines to bring problem-based learning to your classroom."

Cheryl Hopper, Director
Network for Educational Renewal, Montclair State University

"Provides both the theoretical and practical framework for structuring instruction that will stimulate the natural curiosity of students."

David Weiss, Assistant Superintendent
Commack Public Schools, NY

"A winning, application-based analysis of PBL. Teachers receive an excellent survey of the process with attention to troubleshooting common issues and problems."

California Bookwatch, March 2007

"Enables teachers to prepare their students to take ownership of a task and use appropriate learning resources in acquiring contextual and procedural knowledge and gaining proficiency in problem-solving skills through self-directed learning and collaborative teams. For those starting out exploring problem-based learning and discovering how to facilitate the learning process, this book is a place to begin."

NSTA Recommends

"Barell has provided a sound strategy and an easy-to-follow outline for the PBL process."

Teacher Librarian, April 2007
Key features
  • Step by step method simplifies the process
  • Examples show problem based learning in action
  • Frequently Asked Questions are answered for standards based implementation
  • Makes a rich teaching model possible for all teachers and grade levels

For instructors

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