When a Problem Becomes Fantastic. Report of an Experiment in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) During a Course in Literature
Every teacher knows that educational formulas must support targeted objectives and not vice versa. If an activity leads students to effectively acquire lasting knowledge that can be subsequently transferred, does it matter if it borrows characteristics from various approaches? This is the premise I had in mind when, during a PERFORMA training session on problem-based learning (PBL), I decided to test this method in the second of four courses being given in general education literature. Admittedly, creating a “literary problem” required some very adroit skills, grafting a piece of literature to the spirit of science and, among other things, blending a scientific approach to a literary analysis. The activity born of this mixture was tested in the winter of 2003, in the course “Littérature et imaginaire: le XIXe siècle (601-701-SF)”, with two first year student groups in the Sciences, lettres et arts program at Cégep de Sainte-Foy.
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