Use of Problem Based Learning to Teach Ethics in Indian Context


Fostering ethical values and its internalization in students’ lives is a daunting process. Mere regurgitation of moral values in classroom does not translate into application. In recent years, the trend suggests that excessive materialism and individualism has led to idea of instant gratification and erosion of ethos. This emerging trend is likely to impact India also. This brings forth many questions: Can ethics be taught? How can we create opportunities for students to imbibe ethical underpinnings and articulate their concerns, question or doubts about these values? Thus, I will share my findings from the research which I conducted as a part of Master’s Degree report. The focal point was on using Problem-based learning to teach ethics in India. The study found that Problem-based learning provides opportunities to examine and internalize global challenges through contextual problems relevant to students’ lives. Students used local issues such as water leakage and cleanliness of society prevalent in the vicinity. In the process, they develop problems solving skills, team-work, confidence and empathy. The study indicates that Problem-based learning is not applicable for teaching all ethical values. In addition, it is difficult to assess the learning done through Problem-based learning. Furthermore, lack of awareness among the students and parents, expertise and willingness of the teachers, limitations of resources and traditional methods of teaching in the secular schools are some of the challenges encountered in implementing this pedagogy. These challenges increase the role of a teacher and necessitate students-teacher collaboration to make it a meaningful learning process.

Author Information
Kotadia Parvez, The Institute of Ismaili Studies & ITREB, India

Paper Information
Conference: ECSS2014
Stream: Teaching and Learning

This paper is part of the ECSS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon