Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/the-light-bulb-light-bulb-lighting-349400/
Welcome to a tutorial on similarities and differences of constructivist approach and problem-based learning. In today's tutorial, we will discuss two main questions. How are constructivist-based learning and problem-based learning similar? And, how are constructivist-based learning and problem-based learning different?
So let's start with the idea that problem-based learning is really based on constructivist-based learning. So the ideas and strategies that you use in problem-based learning are based on constructivism and the ideas that are incorporated in constructivist-based learning. Constructivist-based learning supports the implementation of problem-based learning.
So if you have a true understanding, as a teacher, of constructivism and incorporating constructivist based learning into your classroom, this supports the implementation of problem-based learning and bringing this type of learning into your classroom. Let's look at some similarities of problem-based learning and constructivist-based learning.
The similarities of these two methods include collaboration and self-directed learning. The learning is collaborative and the learning is also self-directed. The teacher is the facilitator, not the director. There's personalisation. We're able to differentiate and personalize material in both of these learning methods. Problem solving is apparent in both PBL and constructivism.
Students have flexibility and problem solving approaches. These lessons are inquiry based. Rigor and relevance are emphasized in bold PBL and constructivism. We want these lessons to relate to students' lives so that they can become intrinsically motivated and walk away with true understandings of the concepts.
Both of these methods require purposeful discussion, both whole classroom discussions as well as discussions within small groups between students.
Let's look at some differences between problem-based learning and constructivist-based learning, and there's a few main differences. In problem-based learning, students are presented with a problem. We give students a guide, a guiding question, or a scenario and ask students to really develop a question, or questions, to create a presentation or final product.
In constructivist-based learning, students are deciding the problems that they research. We give them a topic and ask them to think about, what do they know, what connections do they have those ideas, and where can they go from there.
There's more self-reflection in constructivist-based learning because of this. So let's apply these ideas by reflecting. Let's look at the question, do you see the connections and overlap of problem-based learning and constructivist-based learning. Who can you collaborate with to gain ideas or a deeper understanding of PBL and constructivist approaches?
Do you have peers that have applied problem-based learning or constructivist-based learning into their own classrooms? What did we learn today? We discussed the questions, how are constructivist-based learning and problem-based learning similar, and how are constructivist-based learning and problem-based learning different.
There's definitely more similarities between these two because remember that problem based learning is based upon the constructivist learning theory. So these really go hand-in-hand. The main difference is that in problem-based learning the students are presented with a problem, whereas in constructivist classrooms students to sign on the problems they want to investigate leading to greater self-reflection.
Thanks for joining me today to talk about problem-based learning and constructivist-based learning, and how those are the same and different in a classroom. I hope you're able to apply these ideas to your own classroom.
As you reflect on how this new information can be applied, you might want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning to explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.
Constructivism and Problem Based Learning
This clearly written article by Sandra Kemp explains constructivism as the foundation for problem based learning. See page 49 for an outline of the connection between PBL and constructivism.