Black Swan Theory and PBL in Japanese Universities

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Gregory V. G. O’Dowd, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine

This paper describes how black swan theory can be applied to better understand the educational methodology called problem-based learning (PBL) that was introduced into Japanese medical universities 25 years ago. While many universities still struggle with its implementation, a few have been successful. What accounts for this great disparity? This paper describes how identifying black swan events can assist with improving PBL so Japanese students can experience more successful learning.