By Oon-Seng Tan (2003), Thomson Learning Asia, ISBN 981-243-717-7, 160 pages
Mere acquisition of knowledge will no longer be sufficient when it comes to learning for the future. To function as effective learners in the knowledge-based economy, we need to foster creative and critical thinking skills.
This book presents a comprehensive and systematic explanation of the Problem-based Learning (PBL) approach to innovative learning.
Although PBL is by no means a novel approach to learning, the book shows how it is nevertheless an invigorating attempt at using problems to motivate learning.
Its value, says Tan, stems from its focus on real-world problem solving and deep learning. Local educators from kindergarten to tertiary levels will find this book relevant as Tan relates the approach to the Singapore context, and addresses the dilemma of operationalising PBL in a local institution. However, he stops short of addressing the issue of whether students with limited linguistic competency can cope with the high cognitive demands of PBL tasks.
This book is a must-read for those who envision learning of the future as an active and problem-solving process; especially for educators seeking an alternative pedagogy for promoting higher order thinking skills, connectedness to the world, and interdisciplinary learning.
Written in an easy-to-understand format, Tan makes a convincing case that PBL is the way to go if you want to challenge and empower students to capitalise on the wealth of knowledge available today.