November 2009


Problem-Based Learning Comes of Age

Dr. Eugene L. Anderson, Associate Executive Director and Director, ADEA Center for Educational Policy and Research


Problem-based learning (PBL) is now 15 years old and seems to becoming of age. Wherever curricular change is under way, PBL isfinding a niche. Whether helping to shape a single course orredefining an entire curriculum, PBL has established itself as arespected means of teaching dentistry.

In this edition of the ADEA CCI Liaison Ledger, our guestcommentary comes from Dr. Nadeem Karimbux of the Harvard School ofDental Medicine, where PBL originated. He presents an overview ofthis teaching strategy, its benefits and challenges, and itsancient roots. In our faculty spotlight, we talk with Dr. Marsha A.Pyle, Dean at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School ofDentistry, about her role in overseeing a major curriculum redesignat Case School of Dental Medicine, which made use of PBL. We alsovisit the University of British Columbia, which has embraced PBLthroughout its curriculum and taken this innovation into lessfamiliar territory-its admissions process.

Links to JDE articles and to the sites mentioned in thisedition's stories are available under Resources. We hope you willuse these to explore whether PBL may have a role to play in thecurriculum at your home institution.


Upcoming Events

Recent Accomplishments

  • ADEA President Dr. Ronald J. Hunt provided an update on ADEACCI at the 51st Annual ADEA Deans' Conference, November 7-10,2009.
  • Dr. Hunt presented on the progress of ADEA CCI at the November2009 American Dental Association Council on Dental Education andLicensure (CDEL) meeting in Chicago.
  • Dr. Hunt addressed a crowd on October 24 at the ADEA Fall 2009Meetings. Dr. Hunt spoke about the tremendous progress of ADEA CCIin fostering an environment for change and innovation.
  • Feedback from the 2009 ADEA CCI Liaisons Meeting shows that itwas a valuable opportunity for Liaisons from across North Americato learn, teach, and strengthen their ability to lead change andinnovation.