The Next Generation: Research Directions in PBL

  • Susan BridgesEmail author
  • Tara L. Whitehill
  • Colman McGrath
Part of the Innovation and Change in Professional Education book series (ICPE, volume 8)


This edited volume was conceived as an attempt to share recent scholarship investigating our understandings and implementations of problem-based learning (PBL) in clinical education. Globally, we are witnessing a rapid shift in the way higher education perceives itself and how it is perceived by society. Social theorists have asked us to consider society in the era of ‘liquid modernity’ (Baumann, 2000), characterized by uncertainty, continuous risk and shifting loyalties and trust. Liquidity is evident not only in our desktop designs but our views of time and knowledge as we have come to expect instant access to information on demand. In terms of higher education, the impact of these social changes can be described as an educational ‘climate change’ signalled by fundamental shifts in the way we perceive knowledge and learning (Goodyear & Ellis, 2010). First, our conception of knowledge is moving from inert and fragmented knowledge to a notion of working knowledge. Second, the focus is moving from an individualistic model of the learner to one of learning communities. Third, the teaching dynamic is changing from teacher-directed to learner-managed learning. This logically forces a shift from learning experiences that focus on content and presentation, i.e., information transmission and presentation pedagogies, to those that focus on student activity through the design of learning tasks and environments and the provision of tools for individual and collaborative work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Bridges
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tara L. Whitehill
    • 2
  • Colman McGrath
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of DentistryThe University of Hong KongSai Ying PunHong Kong SAR
  2. 2.Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongSai Ying PunHong Kong SAR

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