Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based learning- Teaching Method for The 21st Century Classroom

Project-Based Learning or PBL is“ an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.” (Definition taken from  Problem Based Learning On Line).

Projects and activities are the keys to a better understanding of PBL. They are no longer tasks that students need to finish after a traditionally-taught unit but rather a set of learning experiences and tasks that guide students in inquiry toward answering a central question, solving a problem, or meeting a challenge. Research has clearly proved that projects that are well-designed and based on students’ experiences improve students’ motivation to learn, help them see how school connects to the outside world by making learning relevant and meaningful, and promote greater civic participation and global awareness.

As a teaching method, PBL is one way for educators to meet the objectives for 21st century learning that can be abridged in the 4Cs equation (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity).

Here is a list of some features that characterize PBL:

  • Focus on significant issues, debates, questions and/or problems through a central driving question or challenge.
  • Contextualizes learning and gives students driving motives and reasons to learn and understand the information and concepts before application.
  • Inquiry to learn and/or create something new.
  • Critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication.
  • Write or otherwise express themselves in various modes, and make effective presentations.
  • Educational engagement to make student choices and take responsibility
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project
  • Rigorous projects help build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning


  1. use higher-order thinking skills
  2. learn to work as a team and contribute to a group effort
  3. listen to others and make their own ideas clear when speaking,
  4. be able to read a variety of material

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