When you are sick, the first thing to do is seeing a doctor. Doctor asks you a bunch of questions, studies your symptoms, and, eventually, prescribes you some medicine that will help your body to defend itself better and faster. Everybody know that the same medicine is not gonna work for other illnesses and other people.
The point that I am trying to make is that using other techniques rather than lecture are good but are not gonna work for every subjects and every student groups. For instance, a math teacher or a physics teacher must first give a lecture about basic rules and subjects and then ask students to solve problems or teach the consequent subjects using PBL technique.
I found “Four things lecture is good for” so interesting with precious points. I believe that a teacher responsibility is not only teaching the course materials, but also give students a pinch of her/his vast information about related subjects. Sometimes just ten minutes talk about a new subject could amaze a student in a way that changes her/his life path for ever.
I have never heard of the PBL and case study as a method to teaching before, but now that I have thought more about it, it sounds so tempting.
The first time that I read about these methods, bunch of words popped up in my mind: TIME CONSUMING, unmanageable classroom, unfair, and so on. Followed by these words was a long list of questions: how to manage a crowded classroom using this method?, what is the point of using that?, will the method offer more to students?, and so on.
briefly, I just tried to stay open-minded and did not object to the method immediately. I kept reading the article of “Dan Tries Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study” and the number of questions increased. I kept thinking about the reason to go through all of these troubles. Students will learn everything that they really need for their jobs eventually in working atmosphere. I was looking for something helping me really understand the method and then it hit me!
Assume two individuals living their lives. One of them lives a normal life in an standard urban atmosphere. Everything is ready for him and he just has to manage his schedule around to buy stuffs that he needs. There is a possibility that he might have to live in a forest all alone for a while without any technological device. He has learned about survival in the forest by reading books. The other one, though, lives in a forest by himself. He has to find his own food, warn himself up and everything that keep him alive. Do you think that the first person will survive the way that the second one does in the forest? Don’t you think that it was a better method of learning if he really has tried to live in similar situation for a while, maybe not even in the real forest, just a similar situation?
Although the example is an exaggeration that might never happen, but the essences is PBL learning and it helped me to really feel the advantages of this method.