Science Education and Problem Based Learning (PBL)

Published in Chemistry
Science Education and Problem Based Learning (PBL)

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In recent years, so-called Problem Based Learning (PBL) has been gradually becoming more common, which is to educate students by taking them outside of senior high schools or universities and making them face the problems of the local community. In PBL, students are positioned as the driving force for solving problems in the local community. At the same time, PBL provides good opportunities for students to get familiar with the life and industrial structure of the local community, and is expected to bring about educational effects such as improvement of learning motivation and problem-solving ability. However, while the momentum to practice PBL is increasing, it has been pointed out that PBL related to science education is not necessarily sufficient, and efforts to enhance PBL from the aspect of science education are required.

Nara Prefecture is located almost in the center of Japan, and is an inland prefecture with a population of 1.34 million. Nara Prefecture was once the capital of Japan when she began to take shape as a nation, and has created own diverse culture through various exchanges with foreign countries. Today, Nara Prefecture has many World Heritage Sites and is one of Japan's leading historical tourist destinations (Figures). The challenges in Nara Prefecture are various, including urban development, tourism promotion, rural development, and industrial promotion, and target areas range widely from urban areas to mountainous areas. Under such circumstances, we have practiced PBL to engage in research focusing on Nara Prefecture's traditional craft "Nara sumi", which is concerned about the succession of business and the maintenance and development of technology. As can be seen from what we partially reported in this paper, there is plenty of room for practicing PBL from the aspect of science education. In the future, I sincerely hope that PBL will be further enriched from the aspect of science education, while teachers engaged in science education will consciously continue exploring new fields and encourage students (motivation, direction, etc.).

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