Given my interest in problem-based and project-based learning, I thought I would share this video that came through my Zite feed late last week. It’s a TEDxLondon video from Ewan McIntosh in September 2011. Ewan blogged about the presentation and “The Problem Finders,” as he calls them recently on his NoTosh site. He says that,

I’ve sought out ways that we can give more of the learning process back to learners: so much of the hard work is done by teachers: scoping out what is ‘worth’ studying, preparing questions worth answering (or not worth answering!) and assessing the learning of students.

This is at the heart of problem-based and project-based learning. He goes on to say that

We’re working every week now with schools across the world in building The Design Thinking School, a pedagogical framework that borrows from enquiry-based learning and problem-solving curricula to bring new meaning and relevance to students, and we’re finding that such a framework works regardless of curriculum, country, culture or language. In independent schools with parents wanting top marks, in city schools where students are disengaged, in suburb schools were students are successful but bored… in every case it’s leading to more engaged students and better academic performance, in both elementary and high schools.

This is great. I hope you enjoy the video.


If my grant I just submitted for the Tennessee STEM teacher professional development is funded, I plan on using this as part of the professional development. What do you think of the video and work that Ewan is doing? Let me know your thoughts.

2 Thoughts on “The Problem Finders: Ewan McIntosh on PBL & student centered learning

  1. Chuck H. on March 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm said:

    Dr. Grant — I share your interest in PBL and related learning strategies. The video is excellent. What would you say to people say, “Yeah, that’s great, but it just won’t work in our world of mandated standards and high stakes tests.” ?

  2. admin on March 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm said:

    Chuck, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂 I believe that these strategies are represented in the state standards; they are just in different places and not all together. Also, I believe that changes to standards, such as Common Core, and PARCC and NETS represent these strategies much more. I also believe the misconception is that the common product that we should be producing from K-12 education is common knowledge, when in most likelihood, it is common skills.

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