Developing Clinical Reasoning Skills in Teacher Candidates Using a Problem-Based Learning Approach

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Terry L. Goodin
Nancy G. Caukin
Heather K. Dillard


In 2013, the Educational Leadership Department at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) implemented a redesign of the teacher preparation program to transition from a traditional on-campus model to one delivered both on-campus and in off-campus school sites while using a problem-based learning method. This new program closely follows the medical school model of residency experiences coupled with problem-based learning events. This article describes the problembased learning process used in this program, comparing it with the early versions of medical school problem-based learning that encouraged the development of “clinical reasoning” skills. Similarities and differences are highlighted, along with key components of the learning model in use at MTSU. The article presents lessons learned and next steps to be used in implementing the problem-based learning approach in a teacher preparation setting.

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