Integrating problem-based learning in the high school science curriculum: a service learning opportunity for undergraduate science students

Integrating problem-based learning in the high school science curriculum: a service learning opportunity for undergraduate science students

  • Professor Judith Poë, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Misssisauga
  • Professor Barbara Murck, Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Stephanie Pugliese, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, University of Toronto Mississauga

Abstract

Despite the benefits of student engagement in service learning, its application is limited in the sciences. This project was designed
to fill this gap and provide undergraduate chemistry and environmental science students with an opportunity to engage in service learning by developing and implementing an educational program in the Peel District School Board (PDSB). High school curriculum was the target of this project as the Ontario Public School Boards Association has recently encouraged the use of innovative teaching practices in classes across the province. Therefore based on this need, students enrolled in the research opportunity program (ROP) at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) will be developing problem-based learning (PBL) activities for high school chemistry and environmental science classes. PBL is a pedagogy centred on student-driven learning, where students are required to discover what information is needed to address the problem posed. The PBL activities developed by UTM students will be implemented at the Port Credit Secondary School and made available on a website to allow other schools (and post-secondary institutions) to adapt the activities to their classrooms.