Principles and Practice of Authentic Problem-Based Learning

By: Howard S. Barrows and Wee Keng Neo Lynda
Singapore: Pearson Education, 2007

In today’s world, rising consumer expectations and intense competition are forcing companies to equip their employees with new weapons for the workplace creativity, curiosity, and an ethos of life-long learning. Authentic Problem-Based Learning (aPBL) promotes these essential skills in a realistic and relevant setting by having learners acquire and apply their knowledge and skills using authentic problems.

This book traces the evolution of the aPBL method all the way from its early days in McMaster’s medical faculty in Canada. At the same time, current misconceptions, myths and simplification of problem-based learning are addressed. However, it deals primarily with the educational processes and procedures of aPBL, and readers are encouraged to adapt and adopt these to best fit their needs and their goals for their students. Principles and Practice of aPBL is written for teachers, trainers and educators in all settings, and provides a comprehensive overview of this particular pedagogy from underlying concepts to practical skills such as problem and curriculum design.

“The book serves as a practical guide in laying out the step-by-step process of applying aPBL as a learning pedagogy in today’s educational environment. It takes a first-principle approach in detailing the design of aPBL programmes, linking the learning objective to the learning outcome in a systematic and logical manner. The book is also spot on in addressing the challenges of education today, which require learners not just to know and understand the content of the curriculum but also to build self-directed life-long learning capacity and to develop the ability to work in teams.”

Brigadier-General Jimmy Tan
Commandant, Singapore Armed Forces Military Institute

“This book presents an excellent overview of the concepts underlying PBL and the practical details. The authors provide ample notifications to enable educators interested in pursuing aPBL in any discipline, to further enhance problem-solving, self-renewal and teamwork skills in their students.”

Sukumal Chongthammakun
Associate Professor
Deputy Dean for Medical and Graduate Education
Faculty of Science, Mahidol University
Bangkok, Thailand