Why Don't We All Just Do the Same? Understanding Variation in PBL Implementation from the Perspective of Translation Theory

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Antonia Scholkmann


Variations in PBL implementation need to be seen as the norm rather than the exception, since local PBL practice will always diverge from the “original model”. In order to understand this phenomenon, this conceptional paper first systematizes variations in PBL implementation at the inter-institutional, intra-institutional, and individual level. Then, variation in PBL implementation is discussed through the lens of translation theory as part of the research tradition of Scandinavian Intuitionalism. Resulting insights are applied to develop guiding questions designed to help leaders and PBL researchers to reflect on PBL implementation processes. Uncharted territories in PBL implementation research are identified, and it is argued that researching PBL implementation can serve as a blueprint to understand educational change dynamics in institutions of higher education.

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