Why Teach With PBL? Motivational Factors Underlying Middle and High School Teachers’ Use of Problem-Based Learning

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Huei-Chen Lee
Margaret R. Blanchard


This quantitative study examined factors underlying middle and high school teachers’ choices about whether to use problem-based learning (PBL). Survey items measured respondents’ perceived competence, autonomy, and relatedness, and the value and costs they placed on implementing PBL. Teachers who have taught with PBL (n = 126) had significantly more formal PBL professional development, higher levels of perceived competence and value for this pedagogy, perceived more support from peers, and perceived lower costs than did the non–PBL use teachers (n = 30). Findings highlight the importance of formal PBL professional development in increasing teachers’ intention to implement PBL and recommend the inclusion of experienced PBL teachers to share how the “costs” of implementing this pedagogy can also add “value” for teachers and their students.

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