This article took the position that Problem-Based learning (PBL) is ineffective since “all problem-based searching makes heavy demands on working memory. Furthermore, that working memory load does not contribute to the accumulation of knowledge in long-term memory because while working memory is being used to search for problem solutions, it is not available and cannot be used to learn” (77). Although this may be true I think the article misses the key understanding of what PBL should be used for. When I use PBL, I use it to give students the opportunity to physically work with content they’ve already learned. It allows students to make their learning meaningful because they are forced to struggle through real life problems that do not have one specific answer. Clark states that “everything we see, hear, and think about is critically dependent on and influenced by our long-term memory” (76). I interpret this as the idea that if students are only given content through directed instruction then their knowledge simply becomes a regurgitation instead of their own understanding. However, in my pedagogical belief, students need to be given the opportunity to think critically about what they have learned. We are not simply creating learners that can understand content but instead, we are creating learners that are global citizens who (in their future) will be forced to think outside the box of what they are simply told. I believe that PBL can be an effective tool if the content is properly scaffolded before hand. In scaffolding, I believe that we are to teach students at where they are at instead of where we believe they should be. This idea allows for differentiation of all learners that isn’t dependent on which type of teaching you are doing. Overall, PBL allows for students to learn skills that go deeper than simply content but allow them to sink their teeth into practical problem solving where they can be supported in their struggles. Too often students attempt to fit into a box of like-minded thinking, as an educator I believe that we need to push our students outside the box and make learning possible. That is why PBL is a critical part of my pedagogical practice.

“ONeill_ 1485” by torres21 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0