Building Pre-Service Teachers’ Awareness of Multiple Perspectives through Problem-Based Learning

By Margaret Drew and Lori Mardis.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Traditional instruction for pre-service teachers often involves lecture with an over-reliance upon note-taking and memorization. While students may pass a test, they may also forget the information shortly after taking the exam. However, a problem-based learning (PBL) approach helps students learn more effectively by constructing their own knowledge through experience and by responding to an authentic problem that they might face in their future classrooms. The authors will showcase a PBL unit that has been offered in a web-blended course for pre-service teachers. The unit incorporates online journaling, threaded discussion, collaborative concept mapping, individual research, and reciprocal teaching that appeal to multiple learning modalities. This approach supports students’ interactive, self-directed exploration of a problem with multiple plausible solutions as they assume the role of a parent, a teacher, or a principal. Authors will share examples of student feedback and learning outcomes, as well as PBL sites appropriate to other disciplines. This alternative to a lecture-mode of course delivery will encourage students to participate at a deeper level as individual learning paths are explored in a collaborative environment.

Keywords: Problem-Based Learning, Cooperative Learning, Web Supported Learning, Teacher Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp.167-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 991.104KB).

Dr. Margaret Drew

Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction/Reading, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO, USA

Margaret Drew is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Northwest Missouri State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Literacy and Reading Problems and has taught at the university since 1996. She coordinates the graduate Reading program and facilitates instruction for both undergraduate and graduate students in diagnostic reading, language arts, reading and language arts practica, reading methods and freshman seminar. She has designed web-supported and online courses and developed five learning objects currently used within her discipline. She has worked to integrate distance education technology, including streaming video, video conferencing and interactive learning objects into her courses to accommodate a variety of learning styles. Her recent publications and presentations have focused on writing across the curriculum, multicultural literacy, performance assessment strategies, technology use for authentic learning by pre-service teachers, and best practices of distance learning instruction.

Lori Mardis

Information Librarian, B.D. Owens Library, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO, USA

Lori Mardis is an Information Librarian at B.D. Owens Library, Northwest Missouri State University, where she has worked since 2001. She holds an MS in Information and Library Science and teaches general education and upper level undergraduate library instruction, provides reference and collection development services, teaches freshman seminar, and develops Web resources at Northwest Missouri State University Owens Library. She has supervised the creation of over 25 learning objects and web-based tutorials that are used in a variety of course applications. In addition, she serves as the library teaching assistant in multiple online and web-supported course sites. At her previous position, she was the Webmaster for the university and the library. She has given national and regional presentations and workshops on Open URL resolvers, gaming strategies to foster eLearning, learning objects, development of online tutorials, Generation X learning styles within web-based instruction, internet plagiarism, and redesigning the reference desk. Most recently presentations have been at ACRL, Internet Librarian, Missouri Library Association, MOBIUS, and the Brick and Click Library Symposium.


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