Traditional instructional strategies practiced in teacher education programs do not generate autonomous and critical thinking. There is limited available research on the effectiveness of the constructivist method of problem-based learning (PBL) in college education courses. The main purpose of this study was to explore differences in the state licensure exam scores (Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching, PLT) between pre-service teachers who participated in PBL and pre-service teachers who did not participate in PBL in their content courses. The quantitative data for this mixed-methods study with a descriptive causal comparative design came from the PLT raw scores of a convenience sample of 263 pre-service teachers enrolled in seven off-campus cohort groups. The qualitative design for this study was interpretivist and the data stemmed from nine professors who taught content courses at the off-campus sites. Insights from 43 pre-service teachers' reflections were also included in the qualitative data in order to support themes found throughout interviews the researcher conducted with participating professors. The conclusion for the group of pre-service teachers who participated in the PBL implementation is that the PBL method of teaching did not help or increase the candidates' content knowledge and pedagogy as measured on the PLT state licensure exam. The analysis of the qualitative data, however, implied that both professors and pre-service teacher participants viewed parts of the PBL process to be valuable in the promotion of critical thinking and freedom of student choices throughout the process.
|Commitee:||Hunter, John M., McAtee, Reney, Stevens, Karen|
|School:||Tennessee State University|
|Department:||Teaching & Learning|
|School Location:||United States -- Tennessee|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Constructivist, Pedagogy, Problem-based learning, Teacher education|
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