A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Problem-Based Learning on Beginning Teachers' Performance
Today’s teachers are challenged by numerous pedagogical dilemmas that compete for their attention, knowledge and resources. Limited content and pedagogical knowledge and strategies appear to hinder successful analysis and management of pedagogical problems. Many current educational reform movements recommend an increased emphasis on preparing teachers to transfer pedagogical practices from their own university classes to the classrooms in which they teach. A popular pedagogical strategy that has had major impact on the thinking and practice of medicine, law, and business education and emerging in the field of Teacher Education, is problem-based learning (PBL). PBL is well suited to helping prospective teachers: a) develop a broader content and pedagogical knowledge foundation; and b) apply and adapt their knowledge and practice in order to make instructional decisions and to problem-solve within authentic contexts. Investigating if, how, and why prospective teachers use the PBL approach over the longer-term to make pedagogical decisions and build their knowledge base is a critical objective in understanding their successes as teachers to flexibly use sound knowledge and strategies. Ultimately, their success will become their students’ successes. The goals of this workshop are to: 1) present a proposal for conducting research in teachers' cognitive transfer of PBL from their university training to solving problems in their university classes; and 2) using small and large group discussion engage the audience in a discussion of the practical implications of this work for teachers' at the beginning of their profession.
Keywords: Cognitive Transfer, Problem Solving, Problem-Based Learning, Educational Psychology, Teacher Education
Dr. Christina De Simone
Assistant Professor, Education, University of Ottawa