Problem-centered approach

•This approach is based on a curriculum design which assumes that in the process of living, children experience problems. Thus, problem solving enables the learners to become increasingly able to achieve complete or total development as individuals. This approach is characterized by the following views and beliefs: 1.The learners are capable of directing and guiding themselves in resolving problems, thus they become independent learners. 2.The learners are prepared to assume their civic responsibilities through direct participation in different activities. 3.The curriculum leads the learners in the recognition of concerns and problems and in seeking solutions. The learners are considered problem solvers

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This problem-centered design or others call it as Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a student- centered pedagogy in which through the experience of problem solving, students learn about a subject. Not only that, the students can also learn both thinking strategies and domain knowledge. To help the students develop flexible knowledge, effective problem solving skills, selfdirected learning, effective collaboration skills and intrinsic motivation are the goals of Problem-Based Learning.

For the students to identify what they already know, what they need to know, and how and where to access new information that may lead to resolution of the problem, they have to work in groups. To facilitate learning by supporting, guiding, and monitoring the learning process is the role of the instructor or also known as the tutor in PBL. This model represents a paradigm shift from traditional teaching and learning philosophy, which is more often lecture-based. The constructs for teaching PBL are very different from traditional classroom/lecture teaching.

One positive thing about this design is that this addresses the need to promote lifelong learning through the process of inquiry and constructivist learning. This design is considered a constructivist because of its approach to instruction, in which emphasizing collaborative and self-directed learning and being supported by flexible teacher through scaffolding. On the
other hand, this design is not applicable to all educational levels and this is only best in secondary and tertiary levels. For fundamental years are very critical, so the children at this stage must be fed very well namely the elementary years of an individual.

The output of this design is one of a kind because it concerns the learner’s dealing with his/her life. This design aims to let the learners or students master the art of problem solving and decision making. Our instructor also discussed to us that Science is not just facts. One example of this fact is about the teaching of the scientific method, in which when we were yet in our elementary and secondary years, we have been taught of this by our Science teachers. It is sad to note that this lesson of scientific methods are left in the four corners of our rooms. Were we even taught that this scientific methods can be applied in our daily life? Knowing our real-life problems, observing it and concluding of what is best to do on that problem, were our eyes open to this reality? Little did we know that scientific methods can be applied in our life and in our decision making. Only if we have known this truth, then maybe this could lessen our regrets in life. Unfortunately, our teachers that time were not even enlightened by this realization.

In this Problem-based learning, we can implant to our students the most important learning of their total experiences. The most valuable of our teaching is to integrate our academic lessons into their real life situations. In which through this academic learning, we can let our students know how to deal with life in their social problems, needs, interest and abilities. As future teachers, we can embrace this kind of learning on what to teach to our students. We can be more meaningful teachers if we are to know how to implement this strategy and technique.

I don’t have long term memory in my case that’s why I can’t remember the detailed experiences with my past teachers and on how they dealt with this problem-centered design (if there was ever). Knowing also the reality that traditional lecture-based learning cannot be avoided in our teaching. We are so much engrossed in this technique that it is hard for new teachers and old teachers alike to shift from the traditional way. But yes, our experience is our best teacher that is why with our past experiences, we can move on to the more effective way of letting our learners learn the true meaning of learning.

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