The purpose of the article is to show the place of problem-based teaching/learning in the modern theory of education. Academician Mirza Ismailovich Makhmutov is considered a founder of the holistic concept of problem-based teaching/ learning in the 60-80s of the twentieth century. According to Mahkmutov, problem-based teaching/learning is a didactic system. This system is based on the principles of learning and its definition, combination of techniques and methods of teaching and learning. Methods and techniques are reminiscent of scientific inquiry.
Makhmutov emphasized two major elements of his system: problem-based teaching and problem- based learning. Problem-based teaching is defined as a classroom activity of teacher to deliberate the implementation of successive problem-based situations and to facilitate the process of student learning. Whereas problem-based learningis defined as learners' cognitive activity acquiring new knowledge and skills through involvement in analysis of problem situations, statement of a problem, and solving a problem by posing hypotheses, providing rationale and collecting evidence, as well as by checking the correctness and reasonableness of the solution. Therefore, the development of problem-based situations to engage learners in independent decision making is an essence of the problem-based teaching/ learning. And a problem-based situation serves an instrumental role in the theory of problem-based teaching/ learning situation appears as a cognitive conflict between learners' prior experience and new knowledge, and/or between practical/applied and theoretical/generalized knowledge.
Modern educational theories (at pre-school, secondary school, higher education levels) take into account both theoretical and practical experiences in the implementation of problem-based teaching/ learning. Problem-based teaching/learning's methods and techniques are applicable in the early childhood education, to the development of variety of learning and instructional technologies including but not limited to modular-based education and distance learning, to the development of students' critical thinking, to name a few. The theory of problem-based teaching/learning developed by Makhmutov is a leading theory in the perspective development of modern education.