CREATING A PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING UNIT: HOW CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AFFECTS SCIENCE TEACHERS’ UNDERSTANDINGS OF REFORM-BASED PEDAGOGIES

Open Access
Author:
Tang, Cecilia Han-Lian
Area of Honors:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Scott Mc Donald, Thesis Supervisor
  • Gregory John Kelly, Faculty Reader
  • Scott P Mcdonald, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • problem-based learning
  • science teaching
  • teacher beliefs
  • PBL
  • curriculum development
Abstract:
Problem-based learning (PBL) is a subset of inquiry science teaching that asks students to solve an ill-defined problem through self-regulated learning. This study examined the relationship between teacher understandings and beliefs about inquiry science teaching and development of a problem-based learning curriculum. Through open-ended analysis of interviews with three research subjects, a pre-service teacher, an experienced teacher new to PBL, and an expert teacher experienced with PBL, the study documented changes in teachers’ goals for and perceived limitations of PBL In addition to these interviews, two PBL microbiology curriculums were developed for a high school Biology context and subsequently analyzed for alignment with inquiry-science pedagogies. This study contributes to the developing work in creating a practice-based definition of inquiry science teaching.