**problem based learning**

Problem Based Learning originated in the medical field, because instructors in the medical field felt that their students would benefit from real world situations instead of simply learning facts. Gifted education has expanded on that idea and encouraged practitioners to use PBL in their classrooms.

Unlike some of the other methods and models I have discussed, PBL has a very clearly defined structure that must be followed to ensure effectiveness. This method can be adapted for any subject and grade level, but the steps should be followed in sequence to complete a PBL experience.

There are three main components to PBL: Fact Finding, Idea Finding, and Solution Finding. During Fact Finding, teachers present a situation, sometimes called a Fuzzy Situation, that has different problems embedded within, but no explicitly stated. Students read the Fuzzy Situation and attempt to identify problems. After identifying the problems, the students will have a discussion and decide on one particular problem to solve. The group begins to find facts that give some insight to the problem.

Unlike some of the other methods and models I have discussed, PBL has a very clearly defined structure that must be followed to ensure effectiveness. This method can be adapted for any subject and grade level, but the steps should be followed in sequence to complete a PBL experience.

There are three main components to PBL: Fact Finding, Idea Finding, and Solution Finding. During Fact Finding, teachers present a situation, sometimes called a Fuzzy Situation, that has different problems embedded within, but no explicitly stated. Students read the Fuzzy Situation and attempt to identify problems. After identifying the problems, the students will have a discussion and decide on one particular problem to solve. The group begins to find facts that give some insight to the problem.

At this point, students enter the Idea Finding stage. The group brainstorms possible solutions and the teacher or a student representative records the ideas. Students discuss these ideas and expand on them. At this point the teacher can ask critical thinking questions that lead the students to analyze the situation and possible solutions more in-depth.

In the Solution Finding stage, the group should discuss the merits of pursuing each of the different solutions presented in the brainstorming session. Some things to consider would be how large the impact would be, how relevant the solution is to the problem, how feasible it is (time and money-wise), and how interested in it the students are. The group makes a final decision and the students begin to collect information that will help them solve the problem they identified.

Many pull-out gifted programs use PBL to facilitate student projects. PBL can just as easily be used in a regular education classroom, either with the whole class or in small groups. Teachers create a situation that he

Many pull-out gifted programs use PBL to facilitate student projects. PBL can just as easily be used in a regular education classroom, either with the whole class or in small groups. Teachers create a situation that he

**SAMPLE LESSON**

This is an example of a Problem Based Learning activity that teaches students about biomes. The full lesson plan can be found at Dude, You Gotta Move.

**RESOURCES**

Explanation of Problem Based Learning

Tons of Examples of Problem Based Learning Lessons

Even More Examples of Problem Based Learning Lessons

Teaching to a Diversity of Abilities

Tons of Examples of Problem Based Learning Lessons

Even More Examples of Problem Based Learning Lessons

Teaching to a Diversity of Abilities

**references**

(April 2009). Dude, You Gotta Move.

(n.d.). Problem Based Learning. In

(2008). Lesson 4: Problem Based Learning. In

*Mrs. O's House*. Retrieved April 18, 2013 from http://www.mrsoshouse.com/pbl/b/biome.htm.(n.d.). Problem Based Learning. In

*Samford University: Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship.*Retrieved April 12, 2013 from http://www.samford.edu/ctls/archives.aspx?id=2147484112.(2008). Lesson 4: Problem Based Learning. In

*Penn State: Introduction to IST.*Retrieved April 21, 2013 from http://www.personal.psu.edu/glh10/ist110/topic/topic67/topic67_05.html.