Problem-Based Learning, Part 3: Making Sense of and Managing Disjunction

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This is the third of three papers which explores the growing influence of problem-based learning (PBL) within professional curricula. Part 1 documented the emergence of PBL in a climate of worldwide change. Part 2 presented the model of Dimensions of Learner Experience and argued that it offers a framework for broadening current understandings of learner experience on diverse PBL programmes. Part 3 discusses the findings of the study, which extend earlier work around the concept of disjunction in learning, and the notion of enabling and disabling forms in relation to three different understandings of learner stance.

Disjunction is a concept seen by many as a starting point for learning and, in this study, particular issues appeared to arise from PBL, often in the form of paradoxes, which prompted different forms of disjunction. The study concludes by suggesting that the concept of learner stances offers a framework that challenges current understandings of learner experience on programmes that adopt PBL. It argues that PBL may prompt new forms of transition in relation to students' past, present and future constructions of learning and of themselves as learners.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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