Why problem-based learning?
In Part 2: Engaging Students, we hear how working with someone from industry empowers students in their learning and makes them feel good … and, when they feel good, they deliver. Students say that when it’s a ‘real problem’, they try harder to find a real answer. They add that it’s more motivating and it drives them to do the work at a higher level. Engaging learning also means less behaviour problems, which benefits all in the learning environment.
In Part 3: Industry Partners Benefit Too, we hear another perspective. It’s easy to think that it’s all about the school … but the response from the industry partners has been both reaffirming and positive. They are pleased to be contributing to the education of young people by making a human connection and asking students to help them solve genuine problems.
In Part 4: Reflections of Teachers and Industry Partners, the teachers and industry partners, involved in the Problem Based Learning program, share their reflections about the program. The industry partners were blown away with the problem-solving skills of the students and teachers reflected on how important it was to ride out the little humps at the beginning because, at the end of the day, it’s worth it when you see how much the students get out of this pedagogical approach to learning.
An Introduction to Problem-based Learning
Find out how you can bring problem-based learning into your classroom. Students and teachers are engaging in, and really enjoying, this type of learning . Sue and Christie have almost as much experience inside the classroom as they’ve had outside of the classroom … and they’re getting great results with this pedagogical approach to learning.
Getting Started with Problem-based Learning
Problem-based learning is a totally different approach to teaching and learning, than what is taught to education students in universities. So, where do you start and whom should you work with? Trust and relationship … with a critical friend, is really important. Having someone challenge your thinking, helps you improve your thinking, and this is an important component in ensuring successful problem-based learning occurs in your classrooms.
What to Look for in an Industry Partner
There are five main things to look for in an industry partner. In this video, Sue and Christie share what they see as most important to look for when seeking out an industry partner. Finding the right curriculum connection is most important … and it may be more than one connection that you’re looking for.
Where to Find an Industry Partner
Where to find an industry partner is a key question for schools exploring this pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. Sue and Christie, in this video, share their experience about locating industry partners to work with your students, in your classrooms, in your context.
Industry Partners Benefit Too
All industry partners value education, for a number of reasons. For example, they have a social responsibility to give back to the community. More importantly, they are keen to enthuse young people and help them to understand what engineers actually do, because they see it as a way to sustain this much-needed profession through the 21st Century, into the 22nd Century and beyond.
Sue's passion for science and teaching have been recognised by her roles as textile conservator and lecturer in object conservation, primary school teacher, science specialist teacher and assistant principal. She has won the South Australian Science Excellence Award for Science Teacher of the Year and been invited to present at local and national conferences, speaking on STEM Problem-based Learning (PBL) and digital technologies. Sue challenges conventional teaching methods in the pursuit of excellence and is currently researching positive effects of STEM PBL on critical and creative thinking.
Christie Evans is an exemplary teacher and leader in STEM learning. Her role as both STEM Coordinator and Year 6/7 teacher has enabled her to not only provide professional development for teachers, but also model problem-based learning in her own classroom. She has contributed to the pedagogical shift from content to skills focus, through her work with the Department for Education, in analysing science assessment, general capabilities, evaluating STEM programs and the generation of educational videos. Christie is a passionate advocate for STEM problem-based learning, in partnership with industry, and has presented at conferences nationwide, with a clear vision to make education meaningful for all students.