Habitus, Scaffolding, and Problem-Based Learning: Why Teachers’ Experiences as Students Matter

  • Brian R. Belland
Part of the Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems and Performance Technologies book series (LSIS, volume 5)


Despite evidence that it can help students learn higher-order thinking skills and gain deep content knowledge, problem-based learning (PBL) is not deployed on a large scale in K-12 classrooms. This conceptual chapter explores teacher’s past experiences, and resulting habitus, to explain the minimal extent of PBL in K-12 schools. Central to teachers’ abilities to implement PBL is their ability to provide scaffolding, and their habitus may interfere with this process. Implications for teacher education and teacher change are discussed.


Professional Development Teacher Education Middle School Student Common Core State Standard Teacher Education Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially supported by National Science Foundation Early CAREER Grant # 0953046. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily represent official positions of NSF.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utah State UniversityLoganUSA

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