Publication 6900

Savery J. R. & Duffy T. M. (1996) Problem-based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. In: Wilson B. G. (ed.) Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in instructional design. Educational Technology Publications, New Jersey: 135–148.
It is said that there’s nothing so practical as good theory. It may also be said that there’s nothing so theoretically interesting as good practice. 1 This is particularly true of efforts to relate constructivism as a theory of learning to the practice of instruction. Our goal in this article is to provide a clear link between the theoretical principles of constructivism, the practice of instructional design, and the practice of teaching. We will begin with a basic characterization of constructivism, identifying what we believe to be the central principles in learning and understanding. We will then identify and elaborate on eight instructional principles for the design of a constructivist learning environment. Finally, we will examine what we consider to be one of the best exemplars of a constructivist learning environment – Problem Based Learning, as described by Barrows (1985, 1986, 1992).
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