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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Using problem-based learning in an innovative teacher education program Krivel-Zacks, Gail

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of participation in a Problem-based learning (PBL) teacher education program at the University of British Columbia. The PBL teacher education program included changes to the program of studies and changes to the practica experiences. First, this study examined changes in the PBL teacher education students' feelings of teacher efficacy, feelings of teacher preparedness, and learning styles arid strategies. The PBL students, showed significant increases in their feelings of personal teaching efficacy and feelings of teacher preparedness. In order to better understand the changes over time in the PBL teacher education students the present study also compared the opinions and attitudes towards inclusion of students with special needs, feelings of satisfaction with their programs, feelings of preparedness, and ratings of self-directed learning using both Likert-scale and short answer responses of the. same PBL students to 40 non-PBL teacher education students. The results indicated that proportionally more PBL than non-PBL teacher education students had increased concerns about inclusion of children with special needs. As well, proportionally more PBL than non-PBL teacher education students felt the time that they had spent in the classroom had the greatest influence on changes in their opinions. The results revealed that proportionally fewer PBL than non-PBL teacher education students felt well prepared. Participation in a PBL curriculum was not found to have an effect on students' feelings of satisfaction with their program or ratings of self-directed learning. To further examine the effects of a PBL curriculum in teacher education, the present study also examined the perceptions of university and school-based personnel who were involved with PBL. The results from this investigation revealed that the majority of the groups involved agreed that a PBL curriculum does have an effect on reasoning, interest, enthusiasm, and satisfaction of faculty and teacher education students. The majority of participant groups also were of the opinion that PBL and non-PBL curriculums provided equal knowledge of basic skills and principles, and professional preparation to the students. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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