Facilitating problem-based learning in teacher education: getting the challenge right

Tahereh Pourshafie, Rosalind Murray-Harvey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    The problem-based learning (PBL) literature presents the shift from teacher-directed transmission models of instruction to facilitation as a challenge for PBL tutors. This article reports an in-depth thematic analysis of reflective written responses on PBL of 63 teacher education students enrolled at an Australian university. Attitudes, skills and knowledge represent three distinctive dimensions of facilitation identified by students. Both content and pedagogical knowledge emerged as features of effective facilitators who students considered as: (1) displaying attitudes conveying belief in the capacity of learners; (2) assuming a humble posture of learning by not considering themselves the font of all knowledge; and (3) creating environments conducive to participation and mutual support through scaffolding and group work. Students indicated that PBL offered an effective approach to incorporate into their future teaching practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-180
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Education For Teaching
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


    • effective facilitation
    • problem-based learning
    • teacher education students


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