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Ho, B. T., & Toh, K. A. (1999). Using Problem-Based Learning (PBL) as a curriculum development tool. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 970-975). Malacca, Malaysia.
As a curriculum development and pedagogical model, Problem-Based Learning
(PBL) provides an alternative strategy to engage and motivate student learning. This is done by
placing the students in the active role of problem solvers, confronted with an “ill-structured”
problem that mirrors real-world problems. In a recent collaborative effort with the Teachers’
Network, PBL was implemented in two secondary schools. Using an example from classroom
teaching, this paper briefly outlines the steps in designing a PBL unit and shows how content
teaching could be integrated into the PBL approach. Concerns over the alignment of
curriculum goals, strategies and activities, authenticity of assessment, implementation
constraints and the viability of PBL as an alternative classroom practice will be explored. The
challenge is to develop the mindset of looking at problems not as they are but as learning
This paper was published in the 1999 Proceedings of the MERA-ERA Joint Conference held at Malacca, Malaysia from 1-3 December 1999
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