In problem-based learning, students work either individually or in cooperative groups to solve challenging problems with real-world applications. The teacher poses the problem or question, assists when necessary, and monitors progress. Through problem-based activities, “students learn to think for themselves and show resourcefulness and creativity” (Charles and Senter 2012, 125). Martinez (2010, 149) cautions that when students engage in problem-solving, they must be allowed to make mistakes: “If teachers want to promote problem-solving, they need to create a classroom atmosphere that recognizes errors and uncertainties as inevitable accouterments of problem-solving.” Through class discussion and feedback, student errors become the basis of furthering understanding and learning (Ashlock 1998)
Ashlock, Robert B. 1998. Error Patterns in Computation. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Charles, C. M., and Gail W. Senter. 2012. Elementary Classroom Management. 6th ed. Boston: Pearson.
Martinez, Michael E. 2010. Learning and Cognition: The Design of the Mind. Columbus, OH: Merrill.