School of Teaching and Learning Faculty Publications

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Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional tool for encouraging active thinking about realistic problems and making sense of them through multiple content-focused lenses. It also has the power to bring faculty together in support of academic and social goals for students. Using a case-study approach, we share the story of a rural school district’s faculty and administrators who decided to implement a school-wide, week-long PBL activity. We focus on the social studies component of the PBL activity, describing the initial decisions teachers made to create this project, the planning teachers completed throughout the semester leading up to it, and students’ experiences across the week of PBL. Finally, we share suggestions about how other teachers and school districts can leverage PBL instruction in support of the New Ohio Learning Standards (ONLS) for social studies.

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This article was published in the Ohio Social Studies Review volume 51, issue 1. A copy of this article can be found at this website:

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Ohio Social Studies Review


Ohio Council for the Social Studies

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