architectural educaton

I am a student of architecture at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
According to most of the staff at this school, this architecture program is
unique in the world, in that it teaches problem based learning. Instead of
students taking several different courses within the faculty, the mode of
teaching I believe happens at other architecture schools, each year of the
year course is 'one unit' and learning takes the form of several phases
throughout the year. Each phase is a design project (for instance, my year is
presently doing a highrise project in Singapore; fourth year deals with the
'problems of the city) that is based on an existing site, and often an
existing client. All supporting study areas (structures, construction,
environmental studies, etc) are based on the current phase, giving the student
a taste of what 'real-world' architecture is all about. Therefore, at the end
of five years students have experienced many different building types, as well
as the problems that accompany that specific building type.

I would be interested to hear from anyone out there teaching or studying
architecture at a university that may have similar ways of teaching. If you
read this and your university does not employ the problem based learning
method, why doesn't it???? It is the best way to learn!
Thanks, Linda Smith
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