Problem-Based Learning

Heinz Neber

The workshop will discuss: What is PBL? What are some of the main features of PBL as an instructional approach? One of the most important features is that students have to be much more (cognitively) active in order to acquire knowledge. They have to find out what they do not know, and which information has to be actively searched (e.g., by formulating clear intentions and questions focusing on what to learn). At the same time, the role of teachers change to being a tutor that helps the students in pursuing their learning intentions (e.g. by providing the needed information sources, like textbooks or even lectures

The Prof. Dr. Heinz Neber has received degrees in education, and psychology. Currently, he teaches classes in Educational Psychology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, and at the University of Munich. Publications (selection): author of more than 50 publications (books, chapters, and peer-reviewed articles in journals). E. g. as author and editor: Learning by Discovery (1982, 3rd ed.); Self-directed Learning (1979); and Applied Problem-Solving Psychology (1987). Articles – e.g.: Usable knowledge by conditionalized and functionalized technical explanations (2000); Self-regulated science learning with highly gifted students: the role of cognitive, motivational, epistemological, and environmental variables (co-author M. Schommer-Aikins, 2002); Evaluation of a summer school program for highly gifted secondary-school students (co-author K. A. Heller, 2002); Epistemic questions: Fostering knowledge-generation by the students (Korea Journal of Thinking & Problem Solving, 2009); Chinese high school students in physics classrooms as active, self-regulated learners (International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2008). Research: A major research area is learning and instruction with special consideration on active knowledge acquisition. In collaboration with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Munich, a project is focusing on the improvement of inquiry learning in Chemistry, and another on developing Problem Based Learning in Biology.