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TitleScience education through Problem-Based Learning: a review of research focused on students
Author(s)Leite, Laurinda
Dourado, Luís Gonzaga Pereira
Morgado, Sofia Fernandes
KeywordsProblem-Based Learning
Science education
Issue date2016
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Abstract(s)Problem-Based Learning (PBL) was first used last century, in the sixties decade, in medical schools ant it soon spread to other areas, namely to science education. The distinctive characteristic of PBL is that students learn new knowledge by solving problems that should be real problems. In PBL environments, the teacher does not teach in the usual way; he/she rather develops conditions for his/her students to learn. Students are asked to solve the problems by doing self-directed learning and team work. Research suggests that PBL may promote the development of a variety of other types of knowledge being conceptual knowledge one of them. Besides, it seems to foster the development of a diversity of competences, including content dependent and content independent competences. Although science PBL research is newer than medical PBL research, there is already a large body of research focusing on teaching and learning science through PBL. Even though cross subject literature review studies include science subjects, no systematic and comprehensive literature research review focusing on science education seems to be available from the most common data bases so far. Therefore, this chapter aims at reviewing PBL research articles focusing on student’ learning of science through PBL in order to both make it explicit whether or not their results are consistent with each other and build up a state of the art in this research area. The analysis of 39 research articles, published since 2010, showed that their results are not only consistent with each other but also suggest that PBL is effective in: promoting students’ learning of science, science epistemology and science teaching methods; developing students’ problem-solving as well as general competences. Besides, they also show that students seem to enjoy learning through PBL even though a few students lack some skills that are required to fully take profit from a PBL approach. However, most of the studies show several weaknesses on the research design and omit relevant data on the PBL interventions which impair the reader from doing an adequate evaluation of the empirical support the claims presented by the research author(s). In addition, it seems that quality the research designs should be improved so that research in this area can provide more valid research results.
TypeBook part
AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:CIEd - Capítulos de Livros / Book chapters

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