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Problem-Based Learning

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Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1. Preparation 1. An Inquiry Process 2. Designing the Invitational Environment 3. A Curricular Overview Part 2. Application 4. Teacher-Directed Inquiry 5. Teacher-Student Shared Inquiry 6. Student-Directed Inquiry 7. Multidisciplinary Approaches 8. Assessment, Application, and Reflection Appendix A References Index

About the Author

Learn more about John Barell's PD offerings John Barell is Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Teaching at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, and former public school teacher in New York City. For the past several years he has been a consultant for inquiry-based instruction and creation of science/social studies networks at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. For most of his educational career he has worked with schools nationally to foster inquiry, problem-based learning, critical thinking, and reflection. Barell is the author of several books, including Teaching for Thoughtfulness: Strategies to Enhance Intellectual Development (1995, 2nd ed.) and Developing More Curious Minds (2003).


"Barell has provided a sound strategy and an easy-to-follow outline for the PBL process." -- Teacher Librarian, April 2007 "Enables teachers to prepare their students to take ownership of a task and use appropriate learning resources in acquiring contextual and procedural knowledge and gaining proficiency in problem-solving skills through self-directed learning and collaborative teams. For those starting out exploring problem-based learning and discovering how to facilitate the learning process, this book is a place to begin." -- NSTA Recommends "A winning, application-based analysis of PBL. Teachers receive an excellent survey of the process with attention to troubleshooting common issues and problems." -- California Bookwatch, March 2007 "Provides both the theoretical and practical framework for structuring instruction that will stimulate the natural curiosity of students." -- David Weiss, Assistant Superintendent "Barell shares numerous examples from teachers and students to illustrate what inquiry looks like and provides the necessary tools and step-by-step guidelines to bring problem-based learning to your classroom." -- Cheryl Hopper, Director "An easy-to-read, straightforward approach to improving student achievement. This valuable resource refocuses on what is most important in our educational system: getting kids to think for themselves." -- Randal M. Koch, Principal "Deserves a place on every educator's bookshelf. This book offers multiple examples of easy and practical ways to incorporate problem-based inquiry into every classroom." -- Jeff Robbins, Science Teacher

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