Fifty Years on: A Retrospective on the World's First Problem-based Learning Programme at McMaster University Medical School

VFC (Ginie) Servant - Miklos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There are many false ideas and a prioris about the history of problem-based learning in medical education, stemming from a dearth of historical studies of PBL. This study was conducted at McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences and offers rigorous historical account of the first problem-based programme and lessons to be drawn from it. Archival data, oral history data from interviews with key participants to the history of McMaster and contemporary publications were triangulated using an inductive and hermeneutic method of historical analysis to produce the historical narrative in this paper. The key findings of this study are (1) PBL was founded by five disgruntled doctors in a time of global change; (2) McMaster did not pioneer the integrated systems approach, but it made it an integral part of problem-based learning; (3) The early PBL curriculum was fluid and variable (4) McMaster offered a loose educational structure dominated by small group learning; (5) The distinctive feature of problem-based learning, compared with all other progressive education methods, was the use of realistic problems at the start of the learning process; (6) Lectures and other top-down modes of knowledge transfer were conclusively not welcome at McMaster (7) Summative assessment was absent from the first problem-based learning programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Professions Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Fifty Years on: A Retrospective on the World's First Problem-based Learning Programme at McMaster University Medical School'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this