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Problem Based Education (Probe): Learning For A Lifetime Of Change

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.327.1 - 2.327.14



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Paper Authors

author page

Sr., Buck F. Brown

author page

Jr., Buck F. Brown

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2530

Problem-Based Education (PROBE): Learning for a Lifetime of Change Buck F. Brown, Sr., Buck F. Brown, Jr. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

ABSTRACT Education in the United States is at a pivotal juncture. U.S. citizens must compete in a demanding global society, but our educational systems are struggling with outdated approaches and stagnant budgets. The “knowledge explosion” of the past 20 to 30 years has provided technological, engineering, and science education with a singularly difficult challenge. The traditional answer to this “knowledge explosion” has been to pack more “essential facts” into the curricula. Careful consideration of this issue suggests that an information-laden society requires resourceful skills, insights, and abilities; hence, educational innovation must focus less on facts and more on problem-solving and inquiry-based learning. The Wabash Valley Educational Alliance1, supported by the National Science Foundation (DUE-9553705), has implemented an important educational vision and established a permanent cooperative effort within the Wabash Valley (west central Indiana) to meet this need.

This paper describes how this project addresses instructional methods that impact the education of students of technology, science, mathematics, and engineering in two-year and four- year institutions as well as those in grades 6 through 12. It outlines an educational approach and announces the WVEA effort to produce new curricula materials including problems and examples; provide a “living” video series of applications; and create a national, refereed, electronic database for sharing problem-based materials and experiences.

I. INTRODUCTION The Problem-Based Education (PROBE) project grew out of the need to address both pedagogical and curricula reform at multiple levels within learning institutions in the Wabash Valley. The WVEA recognized a singularly important goal for all of its students--the ability to deal with change in modern and future work environments. In order to address this goal, the WVEA began a quest to find key factors in new teaching methodologies. Concurrently, the Alliance began pursuing ways in which it might address broader, curricula reform issues. During this process, it became evident that by modifying new and revolutionary (ideas in learning theory)practices in medical school education, it might be possible to simultaneously address both change in teaching methodologies and curricula reform. In fact, it seemed that these revolutionary practices might lend themselves well to multiple educational settings, levels and content areas. Therefore, the WVEA proposed that by adopting the PROBE project, faculty from virtually all of its institutions could participate in a cooperative venture to further pedagogical

1 The Wabash Valley Educational Alliance includes Indiana State University, IVY TECH State College—Terre Haute, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service—Vigo County, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Vigo County Public Schools, and Vincennes University.

Brown, S. B. F., & Brown, J. B. F. (1997, June), Problem Based Education (Probe): Learning For A Lifetime Of Change Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6740

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