Impact of introducing problem-based learning at an early age


How can we prepare our children for success in their lives and careers? It has been a debated topic for a very long time. The institutions that provide a platform to students in preparing for the future have transformed, and so have our definitions of what high-quality education means. In most educational institutions, practical knowledge is completely ignored for theory and facts which leads to students forgetting what they studied after passing one exam. The emphasis is on exam performance rather than providing students with problem-based learning skills combined with technology to help them navigate the world of tomorrow. Mental health issues like anxiety among students is a consequence of pressure and stress related to exams. This may manifest as negative thoughts in children and make them feel incapable of having a future if they don’t pass a certain test and further give rise to physiological signs like tense muscles or trembling. The impacts of anxiety might affect a child’s capacity to process and comprehend questions and perform to their highest potential and that is where problem-based learning comes into play.

Problem-based learning (PBL) teaching style substitutes the direct presentation of information for complex real-world problems as a means of encouraging student understanding of ideas and principles. The first step in this process is to find out the real problems and problems that students may face in their future employment and personal lives. Problems are understood through research, experimentation, data collection, and scientific principles. A person with a problem is presented with a solution through ideation and testing of the solution, resulting in a finished product.

In today’s rapidly changing world, not only academic skills such as literature, mathematics, and science, but also a wide range of abilities such as teamwork, critical thinking, communication, perseverance, problem-solving, and creativity are required. Young people learn more easily when they have better control over their emotions. PBL helps students improve their communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills in addition to their knowledge of course materials. It also provides opportunities for group collaboration, searching and evaluating research material, and lifelong learning.

Problem-based learning can be implemented in almost all schools with the use of the right techniques and a number of tools provided by design thinking. The main components of design thinking are problem identification, creative problem solving, and iterative improvement of those ideas. Students will be better equipped to handle the ever changing difficulties of both school and life thanks to this method of thinking and creating.

It is no longer adequate to teach kids facts mindlessly and have them recite them out of context in order to prepare them for life in the modern world. Students must possess both foundational skills (reading, writing, and math) and contemporary skills in order to solve extremely complicated situations (teamwork, problem-solving, research gathering, time management, information synthesising, and utilising high-tech tools). With this set of abilities, students may take control of and manage their learning process while being directed and supervised by an experienced teacher.

Active learning is now associated with flipped classrooms. The idea of flipping classes gained popularity as technological advancements made it simpler to acquire and produce educational materials. The premise of a flipped classroom is that lectures and one-on-one training are not the most effective uses of class time. Instead, students receive material outside of class, freeing up class time for higher-order thinking exercises.

The fact that the whole school is a classroom with different learning zones for different activities where there are closed classrooms for lectures, learner presentations, and discussions, open zones like the area surrounding the classroom for group work, individual work, spaces for creation, and digital connections to the world outside the school, both domestic and international, aided by accessible technology (personal device) will work together in favor of enhancing educational standards and expanding the system’s reach. It stands to reason that a good school infrastructure shouldn’t be uneasy, alienating, chaotic or monotonous. What the data demonstrates is that many of the characteristics important for ensuring a healthy environment, including aspects like decisions about decor, furniture, and fittings, and about how the rooms are “dressed,” have a substantial impact on learning.

It might be difficult to balance problem-based learning activities with traditional academics and test preparation. Therefore, technology is used to create tailored online learning exercises that can improve the effectiveness of basic academic idea instruction.

PBL adheres to the fundamentals of effective teaching and learning. Numerous learning skills can be acquired along the journey and won’t function until these abilities are mastered; these are learned in context, and through the entire process—from the inception of the group to problem-solving. PBL encourages and demands reflection on the learning process at the end like – how was the process? Will the team be prepared and efficient the next time?

Views expressed by: Allan Kjaer Andersen, Director and Principal, Chaman Bhartiya School