Practices at Work: Problem-Based Learning

Practices at Work: Problem-Based Learning

Practices at Work are articles from Fairfax County Public Schools Instructional Service Department. 

Strategies in Action — Joy Pryde-Haskins, Rocky Run Middle School

Problem-Based Learning is an effective way to engage students in authentic learning. My students complete the unit, "Ferret It Out," in which they are tasked to develop a plan to reintroduce the endangered Black-Footed Ferret into the wild, and restore its population. By giving them a "real-world" problem to solve as they go through a unit, students become more interested and motivated to learn the concepts they need to understand to solve the problem. My students have also told me that they remember the material better because it was put in a meaningful context.

Problem-Based Learning is also more challenging for students, as they must use creativity to come up with original solutions to the problem, as well as critical thinking skills to evaluate the merits of different possible solutions. It also allows students to experience problem-solving as practicing scientists do, and realize that there are not always simple, right-or-wrong answers to problems.

Watch the Best Practices For Teaching and Learning Video Collection on the Fairfax Network YouTube Channel. 

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