Students in Early Childhood Teacher Education and Their First Experience with Problem-Based Learning

How to Cite

Meyer, G. S., Reigstad, I., & Serikova, L. (2023). Students in Early Childhood Teacher Education and Their First Experience with Problem-Based Learning : A Comparative Study From the Perspective of Students in Kyrgyzstan and Norway. Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, 11(3), 25–43.


This comparative study examines how students from Early Childhood Teacher Education in Kyrgyzstan and Norway value their first experience with Problem-Based Learning. The study is a result of the collaboration between ECTE in Kyrgyzstan and Norway focusing on student-active learning. The research is important because there are few if any studies focusing on PBL in Early Childhood Teacher Education (ECTE), and little use of PBL as a basic norm in Kyrgyzstan. Our data consists of students’ anonymous, written, open-ended questionnaires. These are analysed by means of qualitative content analysis. We found evidence that students value collaboration, and in this report, we describe their experiences with the PBL-method and suggest some implications for the quality of learning. We discuss and compare similarities and differences in students’ experiences in light of cultural differences.


Barrows, H. S., & Tamblyn, R. (1980). Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education. Springer.

Barrows, H.S. (1994). Problem-based learning applied to medical education (2nd ed.). Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine.

Borhan, M.T. (2014). Problem-based learning (PBL) in teacher education: A review of the effect of PBL on pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills. European Journal of Educational Sciences, 1(1), 76-87.

Bray, M., Adamson, B., & Mason, M. (2007) Comparative education Research. Approaches and methods. Comparative Education Research Centre. The University of Hong Kong. Springer.

Colombia Public Health (2022). Content Analysis Method and Examples. Content Analysis Method and Examples | Columbia Public Health (11.10.2022)

Davidson, N., & Major, C. H. (2014). Boundary crossings: Cooperative learning, collaborative learning, and problem-based learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3&4), 7-55.

Frambach, J.M., Talaat,W., Wasenitz, S., & Martimianakis, M.A. (2019). The case for plural PBL: An analysis of dominant and marginalized perspectives in the globalization of problem-based learning. Advances in Health Science Education, 24, 931-942.

Fung, N.L.Y. (2013). An exploration of the differing perceptions of problem-based learning (PBL) from students and facilitators of diverse cultural backgrounds, in the fields of theological and nursing education. [Doctoral dissertation, The Faculty of Talbot School of Theology, Biola university].

Graneheim, U.H., & Lundman, B. (2003). Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve trustworthiness. Nurse Education Today, 24, 105-112.

Grigg, R., & Lewis, H. (2018). Moving the andragogy of teacher education forward: The potential and challenges of PBL in teacher education. Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 5(2), 1-19.

Grüters, R. (2011). Refleksjon i blogg: en hermeneutisk studie av refleksjon og dens tekstlige og retoriske manifestasjon i en ny type skrive- og arkiveringsteknologi. [Doctoral dissertation, Institutt for språk- og kommunikasjonsstudier, Norges teknisk- naturvitenskapelige universitet]. Microsoft Word - Avhandling-15.2.11 (

Gwee, M. C-E. (2008). Globalization of problem-based learning (PBL): Cross-cultural implications. The Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 24(35), 14-22.

Helland, S. (2004). PBL? = problembasert læring som arbeidsform i lærarutdanninga. HSF Notat.

Helland, S. (2007). Erfaringar med den problembaserte læringsmodellen i lærarutdanninga. HSF Rapport.

Hofstede Insights. Country Comparison Tool.,kazakhstan/ (Retrieved 10.11.2021)

Kapitonova, M.Yu., Gupalo, S. P., Dydykin, S. S., Vasil’ev, Yu. L., Mandrikov, V. B., Klauchek, S. V., & Fedorova, O. V. (2020). Is It Time For Transition From The Subject-Based To The Integrated Preclinical Medical Curriculum? Russian Open Medical Journal, 9(2), 1-7.

Klemp, T. (2013). Refleksjon - hva er det, og hvilken betydning har den i utdanning til profesjonell lærerpraksis? Uniped, 36(1), 42-58.

Krippendorff, K. (2013). Content Analysis. An Introduction to Its Methodology (3rd ed.). Sage Publications.

Kosmützky, A. (2018). Comparative Research, Higher Education. In J.C. Shin & P. Teixeira (Eds.), Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Springer Science+Business Media.

Kunnskapsdepartementet (KD). (2017). Meld. St. 16 (2016-2017). Kultur for kvalitet i høyere utdanning. Kunnskapsdepartementet.

Kunnskapsdepartementet (KD). (2015). Act relating to universities and university colleges. Kunnskapsdepartementet.

Kunnskapsdepartementet (KD). (2012). Framework plan for Early Childhood Teacher Education. Kunnskapsdepartementet.

Mammadova, L. (2020). Use of Project-Based Learning in Preparation of Education Managers: Case of Post-Sovjet Azerbaijan. Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, 8(2), 76-96.

Matthews, R.S. (1995). Collaborative learning: Creating knowledge with students. In R.H. Menges, M. Weimer and Associates (Eds.), Teaching on Solid Ground: Using Scholarship to Improve Practice. Jossey-Bass.

Murray-Harvey, R., Pourshafie, T., & Reyes, W.S. (2013). What teacher education students learn about collaboration from problem-based learning. Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, 1(1), 114-134.

Mohd-Yusof, K., Arsat, D., Borhan, M. T. B., de Graaff, E., Kolmos, A., & Phang, F. A. (Eds.) (2013). PBL Across Cultures. Aalborg Universitetsforlag.

Naji, K.K., Ebead, U., Al-Ali, A.K., & Du, X. (2020). Comparing models of problem and project-based learning (PBL) courses and student engagement in civil engineering in Quatar. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 16(8), 1-16.

Nes, K., & Strømstad, M. (1999). Problembasert læring (PBL) i lærerutdanningen. Et år med kasusbasert undervisning i pedagogikk – bakgrunn og erfaringer. Høgskolen i Hedmark, Notat nr. 1.

Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for collegeinstructors (3rd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

NLA University College (2019). Programplan for bachelor i barnehagelærerutdanning. NLA.

OECD (2008). 21st Century Skills. How can you prepare students for the new Global Economy? OECD. (Retrieved 03.10.2021)

Osh International Medical University. Osh International Medical University - MBBS In Kyrgyzstan ( (Retrieved 19.12.2023)

Pettersen, R. C. (2005). Kvalitetslæring i høgere utdanning. Innføring i problem- og praksisbasert didaktikk. Universitetsforlaget.

Pettersen, R. C. (2017). Problembasert læring for studenter og lærere. Introduksjon til PBL og studentaktive læringsformer. Universitetsforlaget.

Rahmawati, A., Suryani, N., Akhyar, M, & Sukarmin (2020). Technology-integrated Project-Based Learning for pre-service Teacher Education: A systematic literature review. De Gruyter, Open Engineering, 10(1), 620-629.

Savin-Baden, M. & Major, H. C. (2004). Foundation of Problem-based Learning. Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.

Sikt. Kunnskapssektorens tjenesteleverandør. Sikt – Kunnskapssektorens tjenesteleverandør

Stephens, D. (2009). Fundamentals of qualitative research. In Stephens, D., Qualitative research in international settings: A practical guide. Routledge/Falmer.

Stephens, D. (2021). Theoretical insights into culture, context, and narrative. In Stephens, D., International Education and Development. Culture, Context and Narrative. Routledge.

Universitet og høgskolerådet (UHR) (2018). Nasjonale retningslinjer for barnehagelærerutdanningen. blu-nasjonale-retningslinjer-ferdig-godkjent.pdf (

Wahlström, N., Alvunger, D., & Wermke, W. (2018). Living in an era of comparisons: Comparative research on policy, curriculum and teaching. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 50(5), 587-594.

Articles published in Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education are following the license Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Further information about Creative Commons