Re: Problem-based learning

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53, No. 6, July August 2011, Page 258 Letters

Andrew Provan is to be congratulated for his critique of problem-based learning (PBL). I hope he will not be ignor­ed by those who were behind this innovation when it was introduc­ed a decade or more ago when I was coming to the end of my practice and teaching career. It seemed to me then, and I then said so and felt like an old fogey, that asking students to teach themselves by what amounts to a trial-and-error technique would be folly. It is rather like going to sea without a map, to paraphrase Osler’s famous statement about textbooks. 

An experienced teacher has the capacity to show students what is im­portant, as well as what is misleading. I know of no better learning opportunity than guided exposure to real experience. 

By the way, a didactic and entirely lecture-based curriculum was abandoned in favor of small clinic groups long before the PBL system was introduced at UBC. 
—Paul Bratty, MD

. Re: Problem-based learning. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 6, July, August, 2011, Page(s) 258 - Letters.

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