Teachers as Expert Learners and Fellow Travelers: A Review of Professional Development Practices for Problem-based Learning


  • Janet Walton University of Cincinnati


The focus on 21st century skills acquisition in K-12 schools has resulted in an increasing interest in the use of Problem-based Learning (PBL) in primary and secondary education. This review examines recent research on professional development for K-12 teachers with an emphasis on factors that influence PBL implementation. Features of successful professional development programs are identified and used to frame the review. Findings of the review indicate that there are substantial barriers to PBL implementation in K-12 classrooms that should be considered by professional development designers. The review concludes with implications for further research and policy, including the need for a broader research base in PBL professional development and methods of modifying PBL to accord with school contexts.