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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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2.7.7 Problem-based learning: An apprenticeship in expert thinking

Discussion of problem-based Learning has focused on ill-structured problems. However, the heart of the model is the transformation of the student from child to apprentice. The problem creates a landscape for a cognitive apprenticeship that transports students into an expert-like mindset. Through example and discussion, this presentation will focus on the power of problem-based Learning to create apprenticeships. Research and experience will demonstrate how the story-like narrative of PBL transmits content and transforms learners, with particular emphasis on the alignment among between PBL, the characteristics of gifted students, and the aims of gifted education.


Shelagh Gallagher

United States

Dr. Shelagh A. Gallagher has worked with gifted students, their teachers and parents from Charlotte to Kazakhstan. She has devoted much of her career to developing and testing Problem-Based Learning curriculum for gifted students. Seven of these units have won the NAGC Curriculum Division Award for Outstanding Curriculum. Dr. Gallagher has also has conducted research and published articles on topics including personality attributes and giftedness, developmental and academic needs of gifted adolescents, questioning strategies for gifted students, and twice exceptional students. She recently won the 2016 Person of SIGnificance award from the National Society of Gifted Students.


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