The role of university is changing under the pressure of external, largely economic and cultural forces. The call to increase recruitment of students to STEM subjects is predicated on their strategic importance for the economy. However, the notion of university physics as a purely vocational training is attractive neither to students nor to their teachers, and is contrary to the ethos of the discipline.
This book argues that problem-based approaches to learning offers the prospect of widening the appeal of physics to potential students and employers, while maintaining its intellectual rigour and providing increased support for employability. The text brings together innovations in university teaching based on learning theories, research and the authors experience, to present problem-based pedagogies for physics and, by implication, other disciplines. It looks at the practicalities of various implementations of problem-based approaches, developed from the original form of PBL, and at the costs and benefits as well as some of the potential pitfalls. It is valuable reading for curriculum designers of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and academics working in the field of physics education.