Teaching Complexity by means of Problem-Based Learning: Potential, Practice, and Pitfalls

Lasse Gerrits, Martin Wirtz


This paper examines the use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in teaching the complexity sciences to students in public administration, policy, and management. We will discuss the background of the method, as well as demonstrate how it is used in some of our courses. We conclude that, while the method is not applicable in every situation, it does perform very well in bridging the gap between concepts and theories from complexity on the one hand, and more mainstream theories in public administration on the other. It performs equally very well in bridging the gap between theory and practice, as such preparing students in developing a complexity-informed approach to policy issues.


teaching; problem-based learning; complexity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20377/cgn-46

Copyright (c) 2018 Lasse Gerrits, Martin Wirtz

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