NTN Project-Based Learning Complete Annotations

February 7, 2019

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Jamali, S. M., Md Zain, A. N., Samsudin, M. A., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017).Self-Efficacy, Scientific Reasoning, and Learning Achievement in the STEM Project-Based Learning Literature.

This literature review looked at 48 of the 265 papers the authors found relating to STEM and project-based learning. The authors felt that STEM and project-based learning often come together due to their natural overlap, and that fully integrated STEM with project-based learning can increase effectiveness of teaching. The three main dimensions’ authors looked at were the search results, the subjects, and the research methodology. Search results included project-based learning, self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and STEM. Subjects included were from high school and college, and research methodology included qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and case studies.

Sample Size: 265 papers

Methods: Systemic Literature Review

Year: 2017

Location: Systemic Literature Review

Findings: Results showed that most studies on STEM and project-based learning have occurred at the college level and focus on learning achievement. Quantitative methods were also the primary method of analysis used. Studies focusing on self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and learning achievement are small, and there are still significant opportunities for future research to occur on STEM project-based learning in high schools to prepare students for 21st century challenges.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Literature Review, STEM Education

Kizkapan, O., & Bektas, O. (2017). The Effect of Project Based Learning on Seventh Grade Students’ Academic Achievement. International Journal of Instruction, 10(1), 37-54.

This study was conducted to determine if project-based learning could produce a significant effect on 7th grade students’ academic achievement. Students were placed in either a control group, which was taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods, or in the experimental group, where project-based learning occurred. Researchers aimed to see if project-based learning could be utilized to increase student academic achievement by improving higher order skills such as critical thinking, planning, problem solving and creativity.

Sample size: 38 students participated in this study.

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from student pre- and post-tests, lesson plans, and classroom observations. An independent t-test was performed, as well as an exploratory factor analysis in order to confirm validity.

Year: 2014-2015

Location: Turkey

Findings: Researchers found a significant difference did not exist between students’ achievement test post-test performance. However, the study suggests that some students could not show their academic performance due to complications and disagreements within group dynamics. Moreover, researchers feel there was no significant increase in scores due to a student fear of new methodology and a lack of interest towards the subject matter. The researchers also comment on the how the rural area limited resources, equipment, and communication.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Rural, International, Academic Achievement

Edmunds, J., Arshavsky, N., Glennie, E., Charles, K., & Rice, O. (2017). The relationship between project-based learning and rigor in STEM-focused high schools. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 11(1), 3.

This study examined the relationship between project-based learning and academic rigor. Using ten STEM-oriented high schools, researchers utilized three different data sources to study the extent in which project-based learning and rigor co-occur.  This study seeks to debunk previous studies which suggested that project-based learning is not always accompanied with academic rigor. Researchers also review the benefits and challenges of both project-based learning and academic rigor being associated with student success.

Sample size: This study contained a total of 1575 students and 39 teachers from 10 different schools.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used based on data from student surveys, teacher logs, and classroom observations.

Year: 2015-2016 AY

Location: North Carolina

Findings: This study suggests that project-based learning can not be implemented with low rigor. Conclusions were drawn on the co-occurrence of rigor and project-based learning in classroom instruction from three different perspectives: that of the teacher, that of the student, and that of the external observer. Across all three sources, researchers determined that there were many instances where high levels of rigor and high levels of project implementation were reported. The study also concluded that reports of higher implementation of project-based learning were associated with higher perceptions of rigor, and that when implemented well, project-based learning can provide teachers with embedding more rigor into their curriculum.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Quasi-Experimental, Academic Rigor

Holmes, V. L., & Hwang, Y. (2016). Exploring the effects of project-based learning in secondary mathematics education. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(5), 449-463.

Researchers investigated the benefits of project-based learning instruction on secondary mathematics students’ academic skill development and motivational strategies for learning. Students were put into two groups, one taught through project-based learning instruction and a control group taught by non-project-based learning teaching methods. As most participants in this study were categorized as a high at-risk population, researchers also looked at the relationship between project-based learning and ethnically and economically diverse students.

Sample size: 459 8th and 9th grade students

Methods: Analysis was conducted through a mixed-methods approach using standardized test scores, online surveys, classroom observations, and student interviews.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Findings showed that at-risk and minority students benefited greatly from project-based learning in mathematics. Compared to students in the control group, students taught through project-based learning instruction were more intrinsically motivated, showed significantly higher critical thinking skills, and had a greater appreciation for peer learning. Results suggest that project-based learning did decrease the achievement gap among different demographic groups and equally effective for students with various depths of mathematics knowledge.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Mathematics Education, Equity, Self-Efficacy, Mixed-Methods, Longitudinal Study

Erdogan, N., Navruz, B., Younes, R., & Capraro, R. M. (2016). Viewing How STEM Project-Based Learning Influences Students’ Science Achievement through the Implementation Lens: A Latent Growth Modeling. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(8), 2139-2154.

This study sought to understand how implementing project-based learning instruction in STEM courses influenced student academic achievement. Three urban high schools were used in this study, each implementing a different level of project-based learning instruction in their STEM classes. Most of the students in this study identified as Hispanic or African American. Results from high-stakes tests were used to determine the academic achievement of the students involved.

Sample size: 565 8th, 10th and 11th grade students from three high schools

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted through latent growth modeling using longitudinal data of the students.

Year: 2007-2010

Location: Southwest

Findings: Researchers found that students in the high-level STEM project-based learning implementation classes had a statistically significant higher rate of growth and achievement when compared to the students in the partial or no STEM project-based learning classes. However, there was no difference in academic achievement when ethnicity and gender were looked at. The results suggest that implementing full STEM project-based learning will have a great increase on student outcomes and better situate students for college acceptance.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Urban, High School, Academic Achievement, STEM Education, Latent Growth Modeling, Longitudinal Study

Duke, N. K., Halvorsen, A., Strachan, S. L., Konstantopoulos, S., & Kim, J. (2016). Putting PBL to the test: The impact of project-based learning on 2nd-grade students’ social studies and literacy learning and motivation. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of project-based learning on both social studies and literary achievement and motivation of second-grade students from high-poverty, low-performing school districts. 48 teachers were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group had instructors who taught four separate project-based learning classes that were designed to meet state social studies and literacy standards. The control group contained teachers using non-project-based learning teaching methods. Pre- and post- tests were given to students in both groups as well as a survey to score motivation.

Sample size: 48 teachers from 20 different elementary schools were assigned at random to either the experimental (n= 24) or control (n= 24) group.

Methods: Hierarchical linear modeling and a t-test were conducted based results from pre- and post-tests as well as a motivation survey.

Year: 2014-2015 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Students belonging to the group of teachers who experimented with project-based learning showed significant statistical growth in social studies and informational reading. The experimental group scored higher on the social studies measure, informational reading assessments, and had less of a decline in motivation than the non-project-based learning comparison group. Results also suggest that teachers who followed the project-based learning lesson plans more closely and implemented them with higher fidelity had students with higher scores in assessments. Lastly, this study concludes that project-based learning can be successfully implemented within state standards.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Urban, Informational Reading and Writing, Socio-Economic Status, Hierarchical Linear Modeling

Han, S., Yalvac, B., Capraro, M. M., & Capraro, R. M. (2015). a. In-service Teachers’ Implementation and Understanding of STEM Project Based Learning. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(1), 63-76.

This study looked at the implementation and understanding of STEM project-based learning among 92 urban high school teachers. Seven Texas STEM Centers were created to provide professional development for participating teachers on project-based learning. Researchers specifically focused on five teachers through a collective case study. The student population of the participating teachers consisted of mostly Hispanic and African Americans with 85% of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sample size: 92 teachers with case studies conducted on five

Methods:A qualitative case study was conducted based on five focal teachers. Data included interviews, in-class observations, and lesson plan designs. Analysis consisted of a mix of open and selective coding.

Year: 2013-2014 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Findings showed that the professional development sessions were effective in communicating important concepts about STEM project-based learning. In these sessions, teachers realized that project-based learning requires a different set of pedagogical abilities when compared to non-project-based learning classroom methods. Teachers also acknowledged that project-based learning in their STEM classrooms was critical and effective in stimulating student’s interests, improving student content understanding, and connecting mathematics and science to the real-world. In addition, all five teachers found that they were able to prepare project-based lessons more effectively and efficiently than non-project-based learning lessons

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, STEM Education, Professional Development, Urban, High School, Academic Achievement, Case Study

Cervantes, B., Hemmer, L., & Kouzekanani, K. (2015). The Impact of Project-Based Learning on Minority Student Achievement: Implications for School Redesign. NCPEA Education Leadership Review of Doctoral Research, 2(2), 1-50.

Researchers examined the impact of project-based learning methods on reading and mathematics achievement to see if school redesign efforts around project-based learning were able to show evidence of success. 7th and 8th grade students were used in this study and were put into two groups, a control group using non-project-based learning teaching methods and an experimental group, using project-based learning. Researchers based the outcome measures on academic achievement in mathematics and reading scores from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) reports.

Sample size: 87 7th graders and 84 8th graders were part of the project-based learning ground. 140 7th graders and 150 8th graders were part of the group taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods

Methods: Quantitative analysis through multivariate and univariate analysis occurred. A causal-comparative research design was used to identify the potential cause-effect relationship based on dependent and independent variables

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Two middle schools located in an urban school district in South Texas

Findings: Results showed that students participating in the project-based learning group performed at a higher achievement level than the students in the non-project-based learning teaching methods. Results from the project-based learning groups were statistically significant in both reading and mathematics scores for students in grades 7th and 8th grade over their non-project-based learning teaching methods counter groups.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, Mathematics Achievement, Reading Achievement, Multivariate Analysis, Univariate Analysis

Karaçalli, S., & Korur, F. (2014). The Effects of Project‐Based Learning on Students’ Academic Achievement, Attitude, and Retention of Knowledge: The Subject of “Electricity in Our Lives”. School Science and Mathematics, 114(5), 224-235.

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement attitude, and retention of knowledge in a 4th grade science class. Students in the experimental group were taught through project-based learning methods and students in the control group were taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Students in both groups participated in work that included conducting experiments, writing lab reports, and making presentations.

Sample Size: 143 students from 18 elementary schools

Methods: Quasi-experimental factorial design based on data from pre and posttests given to both the experimental and control group.

Year: 2009-2010 AY

Location: Turkey

Findings: Researchers found a statistically significant difference between both groups regarding academic achievement and retention of knowledge. However, there was no statistically significant effect regarding attitudes of either group. Those in the project-based learning group appeared to show an increase in academic achievement and retention of knowledge when compared to the students being student with non-project-based learning teaching methods

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Quasi-Experimental, International, Student Achievement

Han, S., Capraro, R., & Capraro, M. M. (2014). How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (Stem) Project-Based Learning (PBL) Affects High, Middle, And Low Achievers Differently: The Impact of Student Factors on Achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1-25.

Researchers investigated whether participating in STEM project-based learning activities effects students who had varied performance levels and the extent to which students’ individual factor influenced their mathematics achievement. The study included teachers from three urban high schools who attended professional development at a STEM center based at a Southwestern University. Teachers were required to implement the project-based learning in their STEM classes once every six weeks for three years. Student outcomes were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

Sample size: 836 high school students

Methods: Quantitative analysis was conducted through hierarchical linear modeling

Year: 2008-2010 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Results suggest that student achievement in mathematics from both demographic backgrounds and performance levels are influenced by STEM project-based learning activities. Students labeled as low performing displayed growth rate on math scores at a statistically significant higher rate than students labeled as high and middle performing. In addition, the researchers found that a student’s economic status was an important factor in improving mathematics test scores and Hispanic students benefitted to a greater extent than any other group when using project-based learning. The findings of this study show that STEM in project-based learning schools decrease the achievement gap.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Equity, Professional Development, Quantitative, Longitudinal HLM, Achievement Gap

Tamim, S. R., & Grant, M. M. (2013). Definitions and uses: Case study of teachers implementing project-based learning. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 7(2), 3.

This study explored teachers’ definition of project-based learning and how they implement it in their classes. In addition, the study looked at the advantages to project-based learning, how teachers vary in their use of project-based learning, and how teachers adopt student-center approaches in the project-based learning instruction. The goals and benefits of project-based learning as well as the challenges teachers encountered were also looked at.

Sample Size: Six teachers from grades 4-12

Methods: An inductive, case-study analysis was used based on data from semi-structured interviews with the teachers, as well as their lesson plans and evaluation instruments.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Three private schools and three public schools from Tennessee

Findings: Researchers found teachers defined project-based as having four sets of advantages: support and facilitation of the learning process, differentiation and creative abilities, motivation and engagement, and collaboration. The teachers felt that project-based learning improved the learning process for their students and allowed them to be creative and use their different learning styles. Finally, while the teachers in this study varied in the use of project-based learning, they all agreed on using student-centered approaches when implementing it.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Professional Development, Academic Achievement, Student-Centered Approaches, Case Study, K-12 Education, Urban

Claesgens, J., Rubino-Hare, L., Bloom, N., Fredrickson, K., Henderson-Dahms, C., Menasco, J., & Sample, J. (2013). Professional Development Integrating Technology: Does Delivery Format Matter? Science Educator, 22(1), 10-18.

This study looked at the implementation of project-based learning modules that taught students how to solve problems through data collection and analysis, with the goal of increasing STEM skills for students. Professional development for project-based learning was offered to teachers during a two weeks summer institute and through monthly meetings during the academic year. Teacher learning, teacher implementation, and student learning from both these professional development formats were measured and compared.

Sample size: 38 teachers and 238 students from 24 classrooms

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through teacher surveys, teacher content and technology assessment, student assessments, classroom observations, and student work samples.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Southwestern Region of the United States

Findings: Results show high levels of teacher satisfaction with both formats of the project-based learning professional developments. Teachers improved both their GIS skills and content knowledge. Students showed significantly improved content knowledge and a higher rate of engagement, both measured by achievement tests. Students who collected their own data in the project-based learning modules were more engaged and involved in project activities than those who did not.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Professional Development, STEM Education, High School, Qualitative Data, Quantitative Data

Cakici, Y., & Turkmen, N. (2013). An Investigation of the Effect of Project-Based Learning Approach on Children’s Achievement and Attitude in Science. The Online Journal of Science and Technology, 3(2), 9-13.

This study aimed to examine the effects of project-based learning activities on 5th grade children’s science achievement, as well as their attitudes toward science. Students were divided randomly into two groups, one focusing on non-project-based learning teaching methods and one focusing on project based-learning methods. Both the control (n =22) and experimental (n =22) groups looked at a science unit on sound. Data was collected through two instruments: an attitude sale and an achievement test.

Sample size: 44 5th grade students

Methods: Quasi-experimental. Pre and post tests given to both the control and experimental groups. Independent samples t-test was used to analyze the outcomes in student achievement and attitude.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location:Northwestern part of Turkey

Findings: Results show that no significant difference was found between the control and the experimental groups for the pre-test, meaning both groups started equally in terms of attitude and achievement in science. A second t-test was given to both groups at the end of the project-based learning and non-project-based learning activities. Students in the experimental group, which focused on project-based learning, showed a significant difference in science achievement over the control group. There was no significant difference found between the two groups regarding attitudes towards science.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Science Education, International, Quasi-Experimental, Science Achievement

Summers, E. J., & Dickinson, G. (2012). A longitudinal investigation of project–based instruction and student achievement in high school social studies. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 6(1), 6.

This study looked at the influence of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement and college readiness in a high school social studies class. Students were put into two different groups, one taught through project-based learning methods and one taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Researchers looked to see if the students in the project-based learning group achieved higher standardized test scores and if they excelled at college and career readiness standards.

Sample Size: 456 high school students

Methods: Qualitative data was triangulated with quantitative data collected through classroom observations, interviews, and informal interactions.

Year: 2008-2010 AYs

Location: Two diverse rural high schools in the Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that the students in the project-based learning group outperformed their peers who learned from non-project-based learning teaching methods in several different measures. Students in the project-based learning classrooms outperformed their peers on the social studies achievement test and had higher more positive college and career-readiness outcomes. These results suggest that project-based instruction can increase students’ academic achievement and progress towards college and career readiness.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Rural, Social Studies, College and Career Readiness, Academic Achievement, Longitudinal

Dobyns, L., Walsh, C., Lee, P., & Cuilla, K. (2012). Impacting Rural Academic Achievement and Economic Development: The Case for New Tech Network High Schools. Napa: New Tech Network.

Sample size:  Two New Tech Schools with an average population of 400

Methods: Mixed methods, measurements of achievement were used in a comparative analysis (by sample design), qualitative analysis of in-person interviews was used.

Year: 2012

Location: Rural North Carolina

Findings: Results suggested that the New Tech model is successful in preparing students for college and career.  Both NTN schools had high school graduation rates of 100%, while the district averages (71% and 76%) and comparison high school averages (75% and 77%) were lower.  NTN students had higher attendance rates and composite SAT scores than the district and comparison high schools.  Business owners consistently described NTN interns as prepared, self-directed, mature, committed, persistent, professional, and curious.

Keywords: College and Career Readiness, Mixed Methods, Rural, High School,
Graduation Rates, GPA, Attendance Rates, SAT Scores

Halvorsen, A. L., Duke, N. K., Brugar, K. A., Block, M. K., Strachan, S. L., Berka, M. B., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Narrowing the achievement gap in second-grade social studies and content area literacy: The promise of a project-based approach. Theory & Research in Social Education, 40(3), 198-229.

This study seeks to determine whether or not second-grade students from low socioeconomic status (SES) schools can make significant gains on standards-based social studies and literacy assessments when taught through project-based learning instruction. Additionally, the researchers asked if these students can reach a benchmark on these assessments set by students from high-SES schools. Students in this study were assessed before and after learning two project-based topics in the social studies content area. Students from two high-SES schools were also assessed to establish a benchmark in social studies and content area literacy. The project-based learning units in this study were designed with problems, issues, or questions that had “real-world” significance.

Sample size: 43 students from low-SES classrooms and 12 students from high -SES classrooms as well as six teachers participated in this study.

Methods: Both a qualitative and quantitative analysis were used for this study, based on data from pre- and post-tests, interviews, classroom observations, and student assessments.

Year: 2010-2011 AY

Location: The study looked at four classrooms from low-SES schools and two from high-SES schools all based in Michigan

Findings: Researchers found that low-SES students made statistically significant gains in both social studies and content literacy and showed no differences from students in the high-SES schools.  The study also concluded that project-based instruction contributed to closing the achievement gap on student assessments. Researchers concluded that an integrated, project-based approach to teaching social studies and content literacy is extremely promising when aiding low-SES students.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Equity, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Content Area Literacy, Achievement Gap

Cook, K., Buck, G., & Rogers, M. P. (2012). Preparing biology teachers to teach evolution in a project-based approach. Science Educator, 21(2), 18-30.

Researchers investigated a project-based learning approach to teaching evolution in order to enhance student engagement and learning. 9th grade students were put into groups of three and took part in a three-week project-based learning unit in their biology classes. Students were asked to research evidence for and against varying aspects of evolution, evaluate what they found, and present their theories to their classmates at the end of the three weeks. The project-based learning model allowed teachers to incorporate vital components such as collaboration, self-regulation, and multiple perspectives.

Sample size: 70 9th grade students and one biology teacher

Methods: Qualitative methods, including daily discussions with the teacher, classroom observations, field notes, student artifacts, and student reflections were used to evaluate the teacher’s instructional efforts and student cognitive responses. Interviews were conducted with 30 of the 70 students who participated.

Year: 2007-2008 AY

Location: Large Urban Midwest High School

Findings: Researchers found that project-based learning allowed the biology teacher to emphasize student voice, which led to an increase in student reflection and allowed them to consider multiple perspectives regarding evolution. Findings suggest that student cognitive engagement was enhanced through the teachers use of collaborative relationships based on project-based learning. Other results include student’s ability to monitor their own time, work independently, and deciding responsibilities among group members

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Evolution, STEM Education, Urban, Academic Achievement, Qualitative Methods

Kaldi, S., Filippatou, D., & Govaris, C. (2011). Project-based learning in primary schools: effects on pupils’ learning and attitudes. Education 3–13, 39(1), 35-47.

This study focused on the effectiveness of project-based learning on primary school students regarding their content knowledge and attitudes towards self-efficacy, task value, group work, teaching methods, and peers from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Students with mixed learning abilities and multi-ethnic origin constituted the demographics for this study. Researchers based outcome measures on differences between pre and post test scores and data from implementing the project-based learning curriculum.

Sample Size: 94 students

Methods: Quasi-experimental design based on pre and post test data, student interviews, and classroom observations

Year: 2010 AY

Location: Greece

Findings: Findings support the view that students can gain benefits through project-based learning in obtaining content knowledge and group work skill. Students also became less interested in teacher-led lecture teaching methods and enjoyed experimental learning more. Self-efficacy, task value, and developing positive attitudes towards peers from a different ethnic background were shown to have changed in moderate levels by the end of the study.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Primary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, International

Chu, S. K. W., Tse, S. K., & Chow, K. (2011). Using collaborative teaching and inquiry project-based learning to help primary school students develop information literacy and information skills. Library & Information Science Research, 33(2), 132-143.

Researchers investigated the effect of combining a collaborative teaching approach with inquiry project-based learning on the development of primary students’ information literacy and information technology skills. The study took place in a primary school in Hong Kong and consisted two group projects that were done through project-based learning. The study consisted of two phases, the first lasting 10 weeks and the second lasting 9 weeks. Students worked in groups of five and six and were allowed to choose any topic of study based on the theme of each phase. At the end of each phase, each group prepared and presented a written report in front of the other students.

Sample size: 143 students, 11 teachers, 27 parents classrooms

Methods: Mixed methods design based on four different data collection methods: self-report questionnaires given to students, focus groups conducted with students, telephone interviews with parents, and interviews with teachers. Dependent samples t-test and a linear regression were conducted, as well as coding for identifying major themes from the interview data.

Year: 2010 AY

Location: Hong Kong

Findings: Findings suggest that the program had a positive impact on the development of students’ information literacy and information technology skills. All participants, including students, teachers, and parents, felt that the collaborative teaching and project-based learning approach helped students improve their skills.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, International, Information Technology Skills, Mixed Methods

Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.

This study aimed to determine the extent to which a project-based learning curriculum would positively impact urban middle school student’s achievement and attitudes in science classes, which could influence their plans for college and future careers. Science teachers were provided with professional development focusing on content knowledge and asked to implement a project-based learning science curriculum that lasted for 10-12 weeks. The professional development required teachers to meet for three hours each week for 10 weeks total. Most of the student population consisted of underrepresented minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Sample Size: 301 6th-8th grade students and 9 science teachers

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from pre and posttests. An independent samples t-test as well as a linear regression model was performed.

Year: 2002-2003 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that students’ science achievement improved due to the project-based learning curriculum implemented by their teachers. An increase in teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge correlated with improvements of student science achievement. In addition the frequency of which the teachers’ used inquiry-based learning activities in their project-based learning lessons correlated with improvements in students’ science attitudes and future plans.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, College and Career Readiness, Student Achievement

ATTITUDE AND MOTIVATION

Jamali, S. M., Md Zain, A. N., Samsudin, M. A., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017). Self-Efficacy, Scientific Reasoning, and Learning Achievement in the STEM Project-Based Learning Literature.

This literature review looked at 48 of the 265 papers the authors found relating to STEM and project-based learning. The authors felt that STEM and project-based learning often come together due to their natural overlap, and that fully integrated STEM with project-based learning can increase effectiveness of teaching. The three main dimensions authors looked at were the search results, the subjects, and the research methodology. Search results included project-based learning, self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and STEM. Subjects included were from high school and college, and research methodology included qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and case studies.

Sample Size: 265 papers

Methods: Systemic Literature Review

Year: 2017

Location: Literature Review

Findings: Results showed that most studies on STEM and project-based learning have occurred at the college level and focus on learning achievement. Quantitative methods were also the primary method of analysis used. Studies focusing on self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and learning achievement are small, and there are still significant opportunities for future research to occur on STEM project-based learning in high schools to prepare students for 21st century challenges.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Literature Review, STEM Education

Holmes, V. L., & Hwang, Y. (2016). Exploring the effects of project-based learning in secondary mathematics education. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(5), 449-463.

Researchers investigated the benefits of project-based learning instruction on secondary mathematics students’ academic skill development and motivational strategies for learning. Students were put into two groups, one taught through project-based learning instruction and a control group taught by non-project-based learning teaching methods. As most participants in this study were categorized as a high at-risk population, researchers also looked at the relationship between project-based learning and ethnically and economically diverse students.

Sample Size: 459 8th and 9th grade students

Methods: Analysis was conducted through a mixed-methods approach using standardized test scores, online surveys, classroom observations, and student interviews.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Findings showed that at-risk and minority students benefited greatly from project-based learning in mathematics. Compared to students in the control group, students taught through project-based learning instruction were more intrinsically motivated, showed significantly higher critical thinking skills, and had a greater appreciation for peer learning. Results suggest that project-based learning did decrease the achievement gap among different demographic groups and equally effective for students with various depths of mathematics knowledge.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Mathematics Education, Equity, Self-Efficacy, Mixed-Methods, Longitudinal Study

Capraro, R., Capraro, M., Scheurich, J., Jones, M., Morgan, J., Huggins, K., et al. (2016). Impact of sustained professional development in STEM PBL on outcome measures in a diverse urban district. Journal of Educational Research, 109(2), 1-16.

This study focused on a three-year teacher professional development that offered sustained support for teachers enacting STEM education through project-based learning. The study took place in three urban high schools where researchers focused on teacher’s perceptions and experiences of implementing project-based learning. Sustained support was offered to teachers in three ways: 1. professional development offered 10 days every year for three years, 2. Development and enactment of professional learning communities, and 3. classroom observations of project-based learning implementation for teachers to reflect on. While the lessons varied between the three teachers, all were implemented through project-based learning and focused on student abilities in measuring and problem solving in STEM courses.

Sample Size: 1,185 9th grade students, 943 10th grade students, 923 11th grade students, and 750 12th grade students. 3801 students total.

Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative methods based on longitudinal data. Propensity score matching was used to compare two groups of students per school for each of the three schools. Focus groups and classroom observations were also conducted, and student achievement on high-stakes state tests was also used as an indicator of effectiveness.

Year: 2009-2012 AYs

Location: Independent school district located in Texas

Findings: Findings suggest STEM teachers perceived multiple benefits from implementing project-based learning, as well as marked improvement of student achievement in the STEM classes after the first year of professional development. Teachers from all three schools reported major positive effects from implementing project-based learning, including an increase in student engagement, more meaningful work for students, utilizing a boarder set of student skills, students taking greater ownership of their learning, and improved teacher-student relationships.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Urban, STEM Education, Student Engagement, High School, Professional Development, Longitudinal Data, Qualitative, Quantitative

Karaçalli, S., & Korur, F. (2014). The Effects of Project‐Based Learning on Students’ Academic Achievement, Attitude, and Retention of Knowledge: The Subject of “Electricity in Our Lives”. School Science and Mathematics, 114(5), 224-235.

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement attitude, and retention of knowledge in a 4th grade science class. Students in the experimental group were taught through project-based learning methods and students in the control group were taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Students in both groups participated in work that included conducting experiments, writing lab reports, and making presentations.

Sample Size: 143 students from 18 elementary schools

Methods: Quasi-experimental factorial design based on data from pre and posttests given to both the experimental and control group.

Year: 2009-2010 AY

Location: Turkey

Findings: Researchers found a statistically significant difference between both groups regarding academic achievement and retention of knowledge. However, there was no statistically significant effect regarding attitudes of either group. Those in the project-based learning group appeared to show an increase in academic achievement and retention of knowledge when compared to the students being student with non-project-based learning teaching methods

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Quasi-Experimental, International, Student Achievement

Cakici, Y., & Turkmen, N. (2013). An Investigation of the Effect of Project-Based Learning Approach on Children’s Achievement and Attitude in Science. The Online Journal of Science and Technology, 3(2), 9-13.

This study aimed to examine the effects of project-based learning activities on 5th grade children’s science achievement, as well as their attitudes toward science. Students were divided randomly into two groups, one focusing on non-project-based learning teaching methods and one focusing on project based-learning methods. Both the control (n =22) and experimental (n =22) groups looked at a science unit on sound. Data was collected through two instruments: an attitude sale and an achievement test.

Sample Size: 44 5th grade students

Methods: Quasi-experimental. Pre and post tests given to both the control and experimental groups. Independent samples t-test was used to analyze the outcomes in student achievement and attitude.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Northwestern part of Turkey

Findings: Results show that no significant difference was found between the control and the experimental groups for the pre-test, meaning both groups started equally in terms of attitude and achievement in science. A second t-test was given to both groups at the end of both the project-based learning and non-project-based learning activities. Students in the experimental group, which focused on project-based learning, showed a significant difference in science achievement over the control group. There was no significant difference found between the two groups regarding attitudes towards science.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Science Education, International, Quasi-Experimental, Science Achievement

Kaldi, S., Filippatou, D., & Govaris, C. (2011). Project-based learning in primary schools: effects on pupils’ learning and attitudes. Education 3–13, 39(1), 35-47.

This study focused on the effectiveness of project-based learning on primary school students regarding their content knowledge and attitudes towards self-efficacy, task value, group work, teaching methods, and peers from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Students with mixed learning abilities and multi-ethnic origin constituted the demographics for this study. Researchers based outcome measures on differences between pre and post test scores and data from implementing the project-based learning curriculum.

Sample Size: 94 students

Methods: Quasi-experimental design based on pre and post test data, student interviews, and classroom observations

Year: 2010 AY

Location: Greece

Findings: Findings support the view that students can gain benefits through project-based learning in obtaining content knowledge and group work skill. Students also became less interested in teacher-led lecture teaching methods and enjoyed experimental learning more. Self-efficacy, task value, and developing positive attitudes towards peers from a different ethnic background were shown to have changed in moderate levels by the end of the study.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Primary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, International

Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.

This study aimed to determine the extent to which a project-based learning curriculum would positively impact urban middle school student’s achievement and attitudes in science classes, which could influence their plans for college and future careers. Science teachers were provided with professional development focusing on content knowledge and asked to implement a project-based learning science curriculum that lasted for 10-12 weeks. The professional development required teachers to meet for three hours each week for 10 weeks total. Most of the student population consisted of underrepresented minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Sample Size: 301 6th-8th grade students and 9 science teachers

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from pre and posttests. An independent samples t-test as well as a linear regression model was performed.

Year: 2002-2003 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that students’ science achievement improved due to the project-based learning curriculum implemented by their teachers. An increase in teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge correlated with improvements of student science achievement. In addition the frequency of which the teachers’ used inquiry-based learning activities in their project-based learning lessons correlated with improvements in students’ science attitudes and future plans.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, College and Career Readiness, Student Achievement

EQUITY IN EDUCATION

Holmes, V. L., & Hwang, Y. (2016). Exploring the effects of project-based learning in secondary mathematics education. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(5), 449-463.

Researchers investigated the benefits of project-based learning instruction on secondary mathematics students’ academic skill development and motivational strategies for learning. Students were put into two groups, one taught through project-based learning instruction and a control group taught by non-project-based learning teaching methods. As most participants in this study were categorized as a high at-risk population, researchers also looked at the relationship between project-based learning and ethnically and economically diverse students.

Sample Size: 459 8th and 9th grade students

Methods: Analysis was conducted through a mixed-methods approach using standardized test scores, online surveys, classroom observations, and student interviews.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Findings showed that at-risk and minority students benefited greatly from project-based learning in mathematics. Compared to students in the control group, students taught through project-based learning instruction were more intrinsically motivated, showed significantly higher critical thinking skills, and had a greater appreciation for peer learning. Results suggest that project-based learning did decrease the achievement gap among different demographic groups and equally effective for students with various depths of mathematics knowledge.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Mathematics Education, Equity, Self-Efficacy, Mixed-Methods, Longitudinal Study

Duke, N. K., Halvorsen, A., Strachan, S. L., Konstantopoulos, S., & Kim, J. (2016). Putting PBL to the test: The impact of project-based learning on 2nd-grade students’ social studies and literacy learning and motivation. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of project-based learning on both social studies and literary achievement and motivation of second-grade students from high-poverty, low-performing school districts. 48 teachers were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group had instructors who taught four separate project-based learning classes that were designed to meet state social studies and literacy standards. The control group contained teachers using non-project-based learning teaching methods. Pre- and post- tests were given to students in both groups as well as a survey to score motivation.

Sample size: 48 teachers from 20 different elementary schools were assigned at random to either the experimental (n= 24) or control (n= 24) group.

Methods: Hierarchical linear modeling and a t-test were conducted based results from pre- and post-tests as well as a motivation survey.

Year: 2014-2015 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Students belonging to the group of teachers who experimented with project-based learning showed significant statistical growth in social studies and informational reading. The experimental group scored higher on the social studies measure, informational reading assessments, and had less of a decline in motivation than the non-project-based learning comparison group. Results also suggest that teachers who followed the project-based learning lesson plans more closely and implemented them with higher fidelity had students with higher scores in assessments. Lastly, this study concludes that project-based learning can be successfully implemented within state standards.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Urban, Informational Reading and Writing, Socio-Economic Status, Hierarchical Linear Modeling

Creghan, C., & Adair-Creghan, K. (2015). The positive impact of project-based learning on attendance of an economically disadvantaged student population: A multiyear study. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 9(2), 7

This purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a project-based learning environment on economically disadvantaged high school students regarding their attendance rates. Attendance rates were collected from two different high schools, both from the same school district. Student participants from the first high school, or “Alpha”, were taught through teacher-led lectures, while students from the second high school, “Beta”, were taught through project-based learning instruction. The high schools were located about two miles apart and recruited students from the same community.

Sample Size: 65 students from the Alpha campus and 65 students from the Beta campus.

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted using both descriptive and inferential statistics, including a t-test to determine if a significant difference existed between the two groups.

Year: 2009-2012 AY

Location: Texas

Findings: Students belonging to the group of teachers who experimented with project-based learning showed significant statistical growth in social studies and informational reading. The experimental group scored higher on the social studies measure, informational reading assessments, and had less of a decline in motivation than the non-project-based learning comparison group. Results also suggest that teachers who followed the project-based learning lesson plans more closely and implemented them with higher fidelity had students with higher scores in assessments. Lastly, this study concludes that project-based learning can be successfully implemented within state standards.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Urban, Informational Reading and Writing, Socio-Economic Status, Hierarchical Linear Modeling

Cervantes, B., Hemmer, L., & Kouzekanani, K. (2015). The Impact of Project-Based Learning on Minority Student Achievement: Implications for School Redesign. NCPEA Education Leadership Review of Doctoral Research, 2(2), 1-50.

Researchers examined the impact of project-based learning methods on reading and mathematics achievement to see if school redesign efforts around project-based learning were able to show evidence of success. 7th and 8th grade students were used in this study and were put into two groups, a control group using non-project-based learning teaching methods and an experimental group, using project-based learning. Researchers based the outcome measures on academic achievement in mathematics and reading scores from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) reports.

Sample size: 87 7th graders and 84 8th graders were part of the project-based learning ground. 140 7th graders and 150 8th graders were part of the group taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods

Methods: Quantitative analysis through multivariate and univariate analysis occurred. A causal-comparative research design was used to identify the potential cause-effect relationship based on dependent and independent variables

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Two middle schools located in an urban school district in South Texas

Findings: Results showed that students participating in the project-based learning group performed at a higher achievement level than the students in the non-project-based learning teaching methods. Results from the project-based learning groups were statistically significant in both reading and mathematics scores for students in grades 7th and 8th grade over their non-project-based learning teaching methods counter groups.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, Mathematics Achievement, Reading Achievement, Multivariate Analysis, Univariate Analysis

Han, S., Capraro, R., & Capraro, M. M. (2014). How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (Stem) Project-Based Learning (PBL) Affects High, Middle, And Low Achievers Differently: The Impact of Student Factors on Achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1-25.

Researchers investigated whether participating in STEM project-based learning activities effects students who had varied performance levels and the extent to which students’ individual factor influenced their mathematics achievement. The study included teachers from three urban high schools who attended professional development at a STEM center based at a Southwestern University. Teachers were required to implement the project-based learning in their STEM classes once every six weeks for three years. Student outcomes were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

Sample size: 836 high school students

Methods: Quantitative analysis was conducted through hierarchical linear modeling

Year: 2008-2010 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Results suggest that student achievement in mathematics from both demographic backgrounds and performance levels are influenced by STEM project-based learning activities. Students labeled as low performing displayed growth rate on math scores at a statistically significant higher rate than students labeled as high and middle performing. In addition, the researchers found that a student’s economic status was an important factor in improving mathematics test scores and Hispanic students benefitted to a greater extent than any other group when using project-based learning. The findings of this study show that STEM in project-based learning schools decrease the achievement gap.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Equity, Professional Development, Quantitative, Longitudinal HLM, Achievement Gap

Halvorsen, A. L., Duke, N. K., Brugar, K. A., Block, M. K., Strachan, S. L., Berka, M. B., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Narrowing the achievement gap in second-grade social studies and content area literacy: The promise of a project-based approach. Theory & Research in Social Education, 40(3), 198-229.

This study seeks to determine whether or not second-grade students from low socioeconomic status (SES) schools can make significant gains on standards-based social studies and literacy assessments when taught through project-based learning instruction. Additionally, the researchers asked if these students can reach a benchmark on these assessments set by students from high-SES schools. Students in this study were assessed before and after learning two project-based topics in the social studies content area. Students from two high-SES schools were also assessed to establish a benchmark in social studies and content area literacy. The project-based learning units in this study were designed with problems, issues, or questions that had “real-world” significance.

Sample size:  43 students from low-SES classrooms and 12 students from high -SES classrooms as well as six teachers participated in this study.

Methods: Both a qualitative and quantitative analysis were used for this study, based on data from pre- and post-tests, interviews, classroom observations, and student assessments.

Year: 2010-2011 AY

Location: The study looked at four classrooms from low-SES schools and two from high-SES schools all based in Michigan

Findings: Researchers found that low-SES students made statistically significant gains in both social studies and content literacy and showed no differences from students in the high-SES schools.  The study also concluded that project-based instruction contributed to closing the achievement gap on student assessments. Researchers concluded that an integrated, project-based approach to teaching social studies and content literacy is extremely promising when aiding low-SES students.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Equity, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Content Area Literacy, Achievement Gap

Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.

This study aimed to determine the extent to which a project-based learning curriculum would positively impact urban middle school student’s achievement and attitudes in science classes, which could influence their plans for college and future careers. Science teachers were provided with professional development focusing on content knowledge and asked to implement a project-based learning science curriculum that lasted for 10-12 weeks. The professional development required teachers to meet for three hours each week for 10 weeks total. Most of the student population consisted of underrepresented minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Sample Size: 301 6th-8th grade students and 9 science teachers

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from pre and posttests. An independent samples t-test as well as a linear regression model was performed.

Year: 2002-2003 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that students’ science achievement improved due to the project-based learning curriculum implemented by their teachers. An increase in teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge correlated with improvements of student science achievement. In addition the frequency of which the teachers’ used inquiry-based learning activities in their project-based learning lessons correlated with improvements in students’ science attitudes and future plans.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, College and Career Readiness, Student Achievement

STEM EDUCATION

Jamali, S. M., Md Zain, A. N., Samsudin, M. A., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017). Self-Efficacy, Scientific Reasoning, and Learning Achievement in the STEM Project-Based Learning Literature.

This literature review looked at 48 of the 265 papers the authors found relating to STEM and project-based learning. The authors felt that STEM and project-based learning often come together due to their natural overlap, and that fully integrated STEM with project-based learning can increase effectiveness of teaching. The three main dimensions authors looked at were the search results, the subjects, and the research methodology. Search results included project-based learning, self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and STEM. Subjects included were from high school and college, and research methodology included qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and case studies.

Sample Size: 265 papers

Methods: Systemic Literature Review

Year: 2017

Location: Literature Review

Findings: Results showed that most studies on STEM and project-based learning have occurred at the college level and focus on learning achievement. Quantitative methods were also the primary method of analysis used. Studies focusing on self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and learning achievement are small, and there are still significant opportunities for future research to occur on STEM project-based learning in high schools to prepare students for 21st century challenges.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Literature Review, STEM Education

Edmunds, J., Arshavsky, N., Glennie, E., Charles, K., & Rice, O. (2017). The relationship between project-based learning and rigor in STEM-focused high schools. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 11(1), 3.

This study examined the relationship between project-based learning and academic rigor. Using ten STEM-oriented high schools, researchers utilized three different data sources to study the extent in which project-based learning and rigor co-occur.  This study seeks to debunk previous studies which suggested that project-based learning is not always accompanied with academic rigor. Researchers also review the benefits and challenges of both project-based learning and academic rigor being associated with student success.

Sample size: This study contained a total of 1575 students and 39 teachers from 10 different schools.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used based on data from student surveys, teacher logs, and classroom observations.

Year: 2015-2016 AY

Location: North Carolina

Findings: This study suggests that project-based learning can not be implemented with low rigor. Conclusions were drawn on the co-occurrence of rigor and project-based learning in classroom instruction from three different perspectives: that of the teacher, that of the student, and that of the external observer. Across all three sources, researchers determined that there were many instances where high levels of rigor and high levels of project implementation were reported. The study also concluded that reports of higher implementation of project-based learning were associated with higher perceptions of rigor, and that when implemented well, project-based learning can provide teachers with embedding more rigor into their curriculum.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Quasi-Experimental, Academic Rigor

Holmes, V. L., & Hwang, Y. (2016). Exploring the effects of project-based learning in secondary mathematics education. The Journal of Educational Research, 109(5), 449-463.

Researchers investigated the benefits of project-based learning instruction on secondary mathematics students’ academic skill development and motivational strategies for learning. Students were put into two groups, one taught through project-based learning instruction and a control group taught by non-project-based learning teaching methods. As most participants in this study were categorized as a high at-risk population, researchers also looked at the relationship between project-based learning and ethnically and economically diverse students.

Sample size: 459 8th and 9th grade students

Methods: Analysis was conducted through a mixed-methods approach using standardized test scores, online surveys, classroom observations, and student interviews.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Findings showed that at-risk and minority students benefited greatly from project-based learning in mathematics. Compared to students in the control group, students taught through project-based learning instruction were more intrinsically motivated, showed significantly higher critical thinking skills, and had a greater appreciation for peer learning. Results suggest that project-based learning did decrease the achievement gap among different demographic groups and equally effective for students with various depths of mathematics knowledge.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Mathematics Education, Equity, Self-Efficacy, Mixed-Methods, Longitudinal Study

Hall, A., & Miro, D. (2016). A Study of Student Engagement in Project‐Based Learning Across Multiple Approaches to STEM Education Programs. School Science and Mathematics, 116(6), 310-319.

This study investigated the implementation of project-based learning activities in two urban high schools in order to examine the impact of inquiry based instructional practices on student learning. Researchers examined the project-based learning activities in four STEM educational settings: 1. STEM Traditional Courses (STC), 2. A STEM platform school (SPS), 3. Engineering Optional Program (EOP), and 4. A virtual STEM Academy (VSA). A rubric for student-centered activities was used during classroom observations to evaluate student engagement and the instructional practices of the teachers.

Sample size: 234 students

Methods: An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted on both student engagement and instructional strategies of the teachers in each of the four STEM educational settings through direct classroom observations.

Year: 2013-2014 AY

Location: Southeastern United States

Findings: The researchers found that the EOP and VSA educational environments had higher occurrences of project-based learning than the STC and SPS ones due to providing students with more engineering-based activities. Students in these environments worked more collaboratively and teachers became facilitators rather than lectures. The study also concluded that in order to maximize student learning opportunities, in-service teachers should benefit from more professional development that enhances their understanding of project-based learning activities.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Professional Development

Erdogan, N., Navruz, B., Younes, R., & Capraro, R. M. (2016). Viewing How STEM Project-Based Learning Influences Students’ Science Achievement through the Implementation Lens: A Latent Growth Modeling. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(8), 2139-2154.

This study sought to understand how implementing project-based learning instruction in STEM courses influenced student academic achievement. Three urban high schools were used in this study, each implementing a different level of project-based learning instruction in their STEM classes. Most of the students in this study identified as Hispanic or African American. Results from high-stakes tests were used to determine the academic achievement of the students involved.

Sample size: 565 8th, 10th and 11th grade students from three high schools

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted through latent growth modeling using longitudinal data of the students.

Year: 2007-2010

Location: Southwest

Findings: Researchers found that students in the high-level STEM project-based learning implementation classes had a statistically significant higher rate of growth and achievement when compared to the students in the partial or no STEM project-based learning classes. However, there was no difference in academic achievement when ethnicity and gender were looked at. The results suggest that implementing full STEM project-based learning will have a great increase on student outcomes and better situate students for college acceptance.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Urban, High School, Academic Achievement, STEM Education, Latent Growth Modeling, Longitudinal Study

Capraro, R., Capraro, M., Scheurich, J., Jones, M., Morgan, J., Huggins, K., et al. (2016). Impact of sustained professional development in STEM PBL on outcome measures in a diverse urban district. Journal of Educational Research, 109(2), 1-16.

This study focused on a three-year teacher professional development that offered sustained support for teachers enacting STEM education through project-based learning. The study took place in three urban high schools where researchers focused on teacher’s perceptions and experiences of implementing project-based learning. Sustained support was offered to teachers in three ways: 1. professional development offered 10 days every year for three years, 2. Development and enactment of professional learning communities, and 3. classroom observations of project-based learning implementation for teachers to reflect on. While the lessons varied between the three teachers, all were implemented through project-based learning and focused on student abilities in measuring and problem solving in STEM courses.

Sample Size: 1,185 9th grade students, 943 10th grade students, 923 11th grade students, and 750 12th grade students. 3801 students total.

Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative methods based on longitudinal data. Propensity score matching was used to compare two groups of students per school for each of the three schools. Focus groups and classroom observations were also conducted, and student achievement on high-stakes state tests was also used as an indicator of effectiveness.

Year: 2009-2012 AYs

Location: Independent school district located in Texas

Findings: Findings suggest STEM teachers perceived multiple benefits from implementing project-based learning, as well as marked improvement of student achievement in the STEM classes after the first year of professional development. Teachers from all three schools reported major positive effects from implementing project-based learning, including an increase in student engagement, more meaningful work for students, utilizing a boarder set of student skills, students taking greater ownership of their learning, and improved teacher-student relationships.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Urban, STEM Education, Student Engagement, High School, Professional Development, Longitudinal Data, Qualitative, Quantitative

Han, S., Yalvac, B., Capraro, M. M., & Capraro, R. M. (2015). In-service Teachers’ Implementation and Understanding of STEM Project Based Learning. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(1), 63-76.

This study looked at the implementation and understanding of STEM project-based learning among 92 urban high school teachers. Seven Texas STEM Centers were created to provide professional development for participating teachers on project-based learning. Researchers specifically focused on five teachers through a collective case study. The student population of the participating teachers consisted of mostly Hispanic and African Americans with 85% of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sample size: 92 teachers with case studies conducted on five

Methods:A qualitative case study was conducted based on five focal teachers. Data included interviews, in-class observations, and lesson plan designs. Analysis consisted of a mix of open and selective coding.

Year: 2013-2014 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Findings showed that the professional development sessions were effective in communicating important concepts about STEM project-based learning. In these sessions, teachers realized that project-based learning requires a different set of pedagogical abilities when compared to non-project-based learning classroom methods. Teachers also acknowledged that project-based learning in their STEM classrooms was critical and effective in stimulating student’s interests, improving student content understanding, and connecting mathematics and science to the real-world. In addition, all five teachers found that they were able to prepare project-based lessons more effectively and efficiently than non-project-based learning lessons

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, STEM Education, Professional Development, Urban, High School, Academic Achievement, Case Study

Han, S., Capraro, R., & Capraro, M. M. (2014). How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (Stem) Project-Based Learning (PBL) Affects High, Middle, And Low Achievers Differently: The Impact of Student Factors on Achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1-25.

Researchers investigated whether participating in STEM project-based learning activities effects students who had varied performance levels and the extent to which students’ individual factor influenced their mathematics achievement. The study included teachers from three urban high schools who attended professional development at a STEM center based at a Southwestern University. Teachers were required to implement the project-based learning in their STEM classes once every six weeks for three years. Student outcomes were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

Sample size: 836 high school students

Methods: Quantitative analysis was conducted through hierarchical linear modeling

Year: 2008-2010 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Results suggest that student achievement in mathematics from both demographic backgrounds and performance levels are influenced by STEM project-based learning activities. Students labeled as low performing displayed growth rate on math scores at a statistically significant higher rate than students labeled as high and middle performing. In addition, the researchers found that a student’s economic status was an important factor in improving mathematics test scores and Hispanic students benefitted to a greater extent than any other group when using project-based learning. The findings of this study show that STEM in project-based learning schools decrease the achievement gap.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Equity, Professional Development, Quantitative, Longitudinal HLM, Achievement Gap

Karaçalli, S., & Korur, F. (2014). The Effects of Project‐Based Learning on Students’ Academic Achievement, Attitude, and Retention of Knowledge: The Subject of “Electricity in Our Lives”. School Science and Mathematics, 114(5), 224-235.

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement attitude, and retention of knowledge in a 4th grade science class. Students in the experimental group were taught through project-based learning methods and students in the control group were taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Students in both groups participated in work that included conducting experiments, writing lab reports, and making presentations.

Sample Size: 143 students from 18 elementary schools

Methods: Quasi-experimental factorial design based on data from pre and posttests given to both the experimental and control group.

Year: 2009-2010 AY

Location: Turkey

Findings: Researchers found a statistically significant difference between both groups regarding academic achievement and retention of knowledge. However, there was no statistically significant effect regarding attitudes of either group. Those in the project-based learning group appeared to show an increase in academic achievement and retention of knowledge when compared to the students being student with non-project-based learning teaching methods

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Quasi-Experimental, International, Student Achievement

Claesgens, J., Rubino-Hare, L., Bloom, N., Fredrickson, K., Henderson-Dahms, C., Menasco, J., & Sample, J. (2013). Professional Development Integrating Technology: Does Delivery Format Matter? Science Educator, 22(1), 10-18.

This study looked at the implementation of project-based learning modules that taught students how to solve problems through data collection and analysis, with the goal of increasing STEM skills for students. Professional development for project-based learning was offered to teachers during a two weeks summer institute and through monthly meetings during the academic year. Teacher learning, teacher implementation, and student learning from both these professional development formats were measured and compared.

Sample size: 38 teachers and 238 students from 24 classrooms

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through teacher surveys, teacher content and technology assessment, student assessments, classroom observations, and student work samples.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Southwestern Region of the United States

Findings: Results show high levels of teacher satisfaction with both formats of the project-based learning professional developments. Teachers improved both their GIS skills and content knowledge. Students showed significantly improved content knowledge and a higher rate of engagement, both measured by achievement tests. Students who collected their own data in the project-based learning modules were more engaged and involved in project activities than those who did not.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Professional Development, STEM Education, High School, Qualitative Data, Quantitative Data

Cakici, Y., & Turkmen, N. (2013). An Investigation of the Effect of Project-Based Learning Approach on Children’s Achievement and Attitude in Science. The Online Journal of Science and Technology, 3(2), 9-13.

This study aimed to examine the effects of project-based learning activities on 5th grade children’s science achievement, as well as their attitudes toward science. Students were divided randomly into two groups, one focusing on non-project-based learning teaching methods and one focusing on project based-learning methods. Both the control (n =22) and experimental (n =22) groups looked at a science unit on sound. Data was collected through two instruments: an attitude sale and an achievement test.

Sample size: 44 5th grade students

Methods: Quasi-experimental. Pre and post tests given to both the control and experimental groups. Independent samples t-test was used to analyze the outcomes in student achievement and attitude.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location:Northwestern part of Turkey

Findings: Results show that no significant difference was found between the control and the experimental groups for the pre-test, meaning both groups started equally in terms of attitude and achievement in science. A second t-test was given to both groups at the end of the project-based learning and non-project-based learning activities. Students in the experimental group, which focused on project-based learning, showed a significant difference in science achievement over the control group. There was no significant difference found between the two groups regarding attitudes towards science.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Science Education, International, Quasi-Experimental, Science Achievement

Cook, K., Buck, G., & Rogers, M. P. (2012). Preparing biology teachers to teach evolution in a project-based approach. Science Educator, 21(2), 18-30.

Researchers investigated a project-based learning approach to teaching evolution in order to enhance student engagement and learning. 9th grade students were put into groups of three and took part in a three-week project-based learning unit in their biology classes. Students were asked to research evidence for and against varying aspects of evolution, evaluate what they found, and present their theories to their classmates at the end of the three weeks. The project-based learning model allowed teachers to incorporate vital components such as collaboration, self-regulation, and multiple perspectives.

Sample size: 70 9th grade students and one biology teacher

Methods: Qualitative methods, including daily discussions with the teacher, classroom observations, field notes, student artifacts, and student reflections were used to evaluate the teacher’s instructional efforts and student cognitive responses. Interviews were conducted with 30 of the 70 students who participated.

Year: 2007-2008 AY

Location: Large Urban Midwest High School

Findings: Researchers found that project-based learning allowed the biology teacher to emphasize student voice, which led to an increase in student reflection and allowed them to consider multiple perspectives regarding evolution. Findings suggest that student cognitive engagement was enhanced through the teachers use of collaborative relationships based on project-based learning. Other results include student’s ability to monitor their own time, work independently, and deciding responsibilities among group members

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Evolution, STEM Education, Urban, Academic Achievement, Qualitative Methods

Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.

This study aimed to determine the extent to which a project-based learning curriculum would positively impact urban middle school student’s achievement and attitudes in science classes, which could influence their plans for college and future careers. Science teachers were provided with professional development focusing on content knowledge and asked to implement a project-based learning science curriculum that lasted for 10-12 weeks. The professional development required teachers to meet for three hours each week for 10 weeks total. Most of the student population consisted of underrepresented minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Sample Size: 301 6th-8th grade students and 9 science teachers

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from pre and posttests. An independent samples t-test as well as a linear regression model was performed.

Year: 2002-2003 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that students’ science achievement improved due to the project-based learning curriculum implemented by their teachers. An increase in teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge correlated with improvements of student science achievement. In addition the frequency of which the teachers’ used inquiry-based learning activities in their project-based learning lessons correlated with improvements in students’ science attitudes and future plans.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, College and Career Readiness, Student Achievement

COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS

Jamali, S. M., Md Zain, A. N., Samsudin, M. A., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017). Self-Efficacy, Scientific Reasoning, and Learning Achievement in the STEM Project-Based Learning Literature.

This literature review looked at 48 of the 265 papers the authors found relating to STEM and project-based learning. The authors felt that STEM and project-based learning often come together due to their natural overlap, and that fully integrated STEM with project-based learning can increase effectiveness of teaching. The three main dimensions authors looked at were the search results, the subjects, and the research methodology. Search results included project-based learning, self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and STEM. Subjects included were from high school and college, and research methodology included qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and case studies.

Sample Size: 265 papers

Methods: Systemic Literature Review

Year: 2017

Location: Literature Review

Findings: Results showed that most studies on STEM and project-based learning have occurred at the college level and focus on learning achievement. Quantitative methods were also the primary method of analysis used. Studies focusing on self-efficacy, scientific reasoning, and learning achievement are small, and there are still significant opportunities for future research to occur on STEM project-based learning in high schools to prepare students for 21st century challenges.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Literature Review, STEM Education

Erdogan, N., Navruz, B., Younes, R., & Capraro, R. M. (2016). Viewing How STEM Project-Based Learning Influences Students’ Science Achievement through the Implementation Lens: A Latent Growth Modeling. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 12(8), 2139-2154.

This study sought to understand how implementing project-based learning instruction in STEM courses influenced student academic achievement. Three urban high schools were used in this study, each implementing a different level of project-based learning instruction in their STEM classes. Most of the students in this study identified as Hispanic or African American. Results from high-stakes tests were used to determine the academic achievement of the students involved.

Sample size: 565 8th, 10th and 11th grade students from three high schools

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted through latent growth modeling using longitudinal data of the students.

Year: 2007-2010

Location: Southwest

Findings: Researchers found that students in the high-level STEM project-based learning implementation classes had a statistically significant higher rate of growth and achievement when compared to the students in the partial or no STEM project-based learning classes. However, there was no difference in academic achievement when ethnicity and gender were looked at. The results suggest that implementing full STEM project-based learning will have a great increase on student outcomes and better situate students for college acceptance.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Urban, High School, Academic Achievement, STEM Education, Latent Growth Modeling, Longitudinal Study

Summers, E. J., & Dickinson, G. (2012). A longitudinal investigation of project–based instruction and student achievement in high school social studies. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 6(1), 6.

This study looked at the influence of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement and college readiness in a high school social studies class. Students were put into two different groups, one taught through project-based learning methods and one taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Researchers looked to see if the students in the project-based learning group achieved higher standardized test scores and if they excelled at college and career readiness standards.

Sample Size: 456 high school students

Methods: Qualitative data was triangulated with quantitative data collected through classroom observations, interviews, and informal interactions.

Year: 2008-2010 AYs

Location: Two diverse rural high schools in the Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that the students in the project-based learning group outperformed their peers who learned from non-project-based learning teaching methods in several different measures. Students in the project-based learning classrooms outperformed their peers on the social studies achievement test and had higher more positive college and career-readiness outcomes. These results suggest that project-based instruction can increase students’ academic achievement and progress towards college and career readiness.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Rural, Social Studies, College and Career Readiness, Academic Achievement, Longitudinal

Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.

This study aimed to determine the extent to which a project-based learning curriculum would positively impact urban middle school student’s achievement and attitudes in science classes, which could influence their plans for college and future careers. Science teachers were provided with professional development focusing on content knowledge and asked to implement a project-based learning science curriculum that lasted for 10-12 weeks. The professional development required teachers to meet for three hours each week for 10 weeks total. Most of the student population consisted of underrepresented minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Sample Size: 301 6th-8th grade students and 9 science teachers

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from pre and posttests. An independent samples t-test as well as a linear regression model was performed.

Year: 2002-2003 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that students’ science achievement improved due to the project-based learning curriculum implemented by their teachers. An increase in teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge correlated with improvements of student science achievement. In addition the frequency of which the teachers’ used inquiry-based learning activities in their project-based learning lessons correlated with improvements in students’ science attitudes and future plans.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, College and Career Readiness, Student Achievement

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Hall, A., & Miro, D. (2016). A Study of Student Engagement in Project‐Based Learning Across Multiple Approaches to STEM Education Programs. School Science and Mathematics, 116(6), 310-319.

This study investigated the implementation of project-based learning activities in two urban high schools in order to examine the impact of inquiry based instructional practices on student learning. Researchers examined the project-based learning activities in four STEM educational settings: 1. STEM Traditional Courses (STC), 2. A STEM platform school (SPS), 3. Engineering Optional Program (EOP), and 4. A virtual STEM Academy (VSA). A rubric for student-centered activities was used during classroom observations to evaluate student engagement and the instructional practices of the teachers.

Sample size: 234 students

Methods: An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted on both student engagement and instructional strategies of the teachers in each of the four STEM educational settings through direct classroom observations.

Year: 2013-2014 AY

Location: Southeastern United States

Findings: The researchers found that the EOP and VSA educational environments had higher occurrences of project-based learning than the STC and SPS ones due to providing students with more engineering-based activities. Students in these environments worked more collaboratively and teachers became facilitators rather than lectures. The study also concluded that in order to maximize student learning opportunities, in-service teachers should benefit from more professional development that enhances their understanding of project-based learning activities.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Professional Development

Capraro, R., Capraro, M., Scheurich, J., Jones, M., Morgan, J., Huggins, K., et al. (2016). Impact of sustained professional development in STEM PBL on outcome measures in a diverse urban district. Journal of Educational Research, 109(2), 1-16.

This study focused on a three-year teacher professional development that offered sustained support for teachers enacting STEM education through project-based learning. The study took place in three urban high schools where researchers focused on teacher’s perceptions and experiences of implementing project-based learning. Sustained support was offered to teachers in three ways: 1. professional development offered 10 days every year for three years, 2. Development and enactment of professional learning communities, and 3. classroom observations of project-based learning implementation for teachers to reflect on. While the lessons varied between the three teachers, all were implemented through project-based learning and focused on student abilities in measuring and problem solving in STEM courses.

Sample Size: 1,185 9th grade students, 943 10th grade students, 923 11th grade students, and 750 12th grade students. 3801 students total.

Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative methods based on longitudinal data. Propensity score matching was used to compare two groups of students per school for each of the three schools. Focus groups and classroom observations were also conducted, and student achievement on high-stakes state tests was also used as an indicator of effectiveness.

Year: 2009-2012 AYs

Location: Independent school district located in Texas

Findings: Findings suggest STEM teachers perceived multiple benefits from implementing project-based learning, as well as marked improvement of student achievement in the STEM classes after the first year of professional development. Teachers from all three schools reported major positive effects from implementing project-based learning, including an increase in student engagement, more meaningful work for students, utilizing a boarder set of student skills, students taking greater ownership of their learning, and improved teacher-student relationships.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Urban, STEM Education, Student Engagement, High School, Professional Development, Longitudinal Data, Qualitative, Quantitative

Han, S., Yalvac, B., Capraro, M. M., & Capraro, R. M. (2015). In-service Teachers’ Implementation and Understanding of STEM Project Based Learning. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 11(1), 63-76.

This study looked at the implementation and understanding of STEM project-based learning among 92 urban high school teachers. Seven Texas STEM Centers were created to provide professional development for participating teachers on project-based learning. Researchers specifically focused on five teachers through a collective case study. The student population of the participating teachers consisted of mostly Hispanic and African Americans with 85% of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sample size: 92 teachers with case studies conducted on five

Methods:A qualitative case study was conducted based on five focal teachers. Data included interviews, in-class observations, and lesson plan designs. Analysis consisted of a mix of open and selective coding.

Year: 2013-2014 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Findings showed that the professional development sessions were effective in communicating important concepts about STEM project-based learning. In these sessions, teachers realized that project-based learning requires a different set of pedagogical abilities when compared to non-project-based learning classroom methods. Teachers also acknowledged that project-based learning in their STEM classrooms was critical and effective in stimulating student’s interests, improving student content understanding, and connecting mathematics and science to the real-world. In addition, all five teachers found that they were able to prepare project-based lessons more effectively and efficiently than non-project-based learning lessons

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, STEM Education, Professional Development, Urban, High School, Academic Achievement, Case Study

Han, S., Capraro, R., & Capraro, M. M. (2014). How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (Stem) Project-Based Learning (PBL) Affects High, Middle, And Low Achievers Differently: The Impact of Student Factors on Achievement. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1-25.

Researchers investigated whether participating in STEM project-based learning activities effects students who had varied performance levels and the extent to which students’ individual factor influenced their mathematics achievement. The study included teachers from three urban high schools who attended professional development at a STEM center based at a Southwestern University. Teachers were required to implement the project-based learning in their STEM classes once every six weeks for three years. Student outcomes were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test.

Sample size: 836 high school students

Methods: Quantitative analysis was conducted through hierarchical linear modeling

Year: 2008-2010 AY

Location:Texas

Findings: Results suggest that student achievement in mathematics from both demographic backgrounds and performance levels are influenced by STEM project-based learning activities. Students labeled as low performing displayed growth rate on math scores at a statistically significant higher rate than students labeled as high and middle performing. In addition, the researchers found that a student’s economic status was an important factor in improving mathematics test scores and Hispanic students benefitted to a greater extent than any other group when using project-based learning. The findings of this study show that STEM in project-based learning schools decrease the achievement gap.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Urban, STEM Education, Equity, Professional Development, Quantitative, Longitudinal HLM, Achievement Gap

Tamim, S. R., & Grant, M. M. (2013). Definitions and uses: Case study of teachers implementing project-based learning. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 7(2), 3.

This study explored teachers’ definition of project-based learning and how they implement it in their classes. In addition, the study looked at the advantages to project-based learning, how teachers vary in their use of project-based learning, and how teachers adopt student-center approaches in the project-based learning instruction. The goals and benefits of project-based learning as well as the challenges teachers encountered were also looked at.

Sample Size: Six teachers from grades 4-12

Methods: An inductive, case-study analysis was used based on data from semi-structured interviews with the teachers, as well as their lesson plans and evaluation instruments.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Three private schools and three public schools from Tennessee

Findings: Researchers found teachers defined project-based as having four sets of advantages: support and facilitation of the learning process, differentiation and creative abilities, motivation and engagement, and collaboration. The teachers felt that project-based learning improved the learning process for their students and allowed them to be creative and use their different learning styles. Finally, while the teachers in this study varied in the use of project-based learning, they all agreed on using student-centered approaches when implementing it.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Professional Development, Academic Achievement, Student-Centered Approaches, Case Study, K-12 Education, Urban

Claesgens, J., Rubino-Hare, L., Bloom, N., Fredrickson, K., Henderson-Dahms, C., Menasco, J., & Sample, J. (2013). Professional Development Integrating Technology: Does Delivery Format Matter? Science Educator, 22(1), 10-18.

This study looked at the implementation of project-based learning modules that taught students how to solve problems through data collection and analysis, with the goal of increasing STEM skills for students. Professional development for project-based learning was offered to teachers during a two weeks summer institute and through monthly meetings during the academic year. Teacher learning, teacher implementation, and student learning from both these professional development formats were measured and compared.

Sample size: 38 teachers and 238 students from 24 classrooms

Methods: Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through teacher surveys, teacher content and technology assessment, student assessments, classroom observations, and student work samples.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location: Southwestern Region of the United States

Findings: Results show high levels of teacher satisfaction with both formats of the project-based learning professional developments. Teachers improved both their GIS skills and content knowledge. Students showed significantly improved content knowledge and a higher rate of engagement, both measured by achievement tests. Students who collected their own data in the project-based learning modules were more engaged and involved in project activities than those who did not.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Professional Development, STEM Education, High School, Qualitative Data, Quantitative Data

Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.

This study aimed to determine the extent to which a project-based learning curriculum would positively impact urban middle school student’s achievement and attitudes in science classes, which could influence their plans for college and future careers. Science teachers were provided with professional development focusing on content knowledge and asked to implement a project-based learning science curriculum that lasted for 10-12 weeks. The professional development required teachers to meet for three hours each week for 10 weeks total. Most of the student population consisted of underrepresented minorities from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Sample Size: 301 6th-8th grade students and 9 science teachers

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from pre and posttests. An independent samples t-test as well as a linear regression model was performed.

Year: 2002-2003 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that students’ science achievement improved due to the project-based learning curriculum implemented by their teachers. An increase in teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge correlated with improvements of student science achievement. In addition the frequency of which the teachers’ used inquiry-based learning activities in their project-based learning lessons correlated with improvements in students’ science attitudes and future plans.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Urban, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, College and Career Readiness, Student Achievement

HUMANITIES EDUCATION

Duke, N. K., Halvorsen, A., Strachan, S. L., Konstantopoulos, S., & Kim, J. (2016). Putting PBL to the test: The impact of project-based learning on 2nd-grade students’ social studies and literacy learning and motivation. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of project-based learning on both social studies and literary achievement and motivation of second-grade students from high-poverty, low-performing school districts. 48 teachers were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group had instructors who taught four separate project-based learning classes that were designed to meet state social studies and literacy standards. The control group contained teachers using non-project-based learning teaching methods. Pre- and post- tests were given to students in both groups as well as a survey to score motivation.

Sample size: 48 teachers from 20 different elementary schools were assigned at random to either the experimental (n= 24) or control (n= 24) group.

Methods: Hierarchical linear modeling and a t-test were conducted based results from pre- and post-tests as well as a motivation survey.

Year: 2014-2015 AY

Location: Midwest

Findings: Students belonging to the group of teachers who experimented with project-based learning showed significant statistical growth in social studies and informational reading. The experimental group scored higher on the social studies measure, informational reading assessments, and had less of a decline in motivation than the non-project-based learning comparison group. Results also suggest that teachers who followed the project-based learning lesson plans more closely and implemented them with higher fidelity had students with higher scores in assessments. Lastly, this study concludes that project-based learning can be successfully implemented within state standards.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Urban, Informational Reading and Writing, Socio-Economic Status, Hierarchical Linear Modeling

Summers, E. J., & Dickinson, G. (2012). A longitudinal investigation of project–based instruction and student achievement in high school social studies. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, 6(1), 6.

This study looked at the influence of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement and college readiness in a high school social studies class. Students were put into two different groups, one taught through project-based learning methods and one taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Researchers looked to see if the students in the project-based learning group achieved higher standardized test scores and if they excelled at college and career readiness standards.

Sample Size: 456 high school students

Methods: Qualitative data was triangulated with quantitative data collected through classroom observations, interviews, and informal interactions.

Year: 2008-2010 AYs

Location: Two diverse rural high schools in the Midwest

Findings: Researchers found that the students in the project-based learning group outperformed their peers who learned from non-project-based learning teaching methods in several different measures. Students in the project-based learning classrooms outperformed their peers on the social studies achievement test and had higher more positive college and career-readiness outcomes. These results suggest that project-based instruction can increase students’ academic achievement and progress towards college and career readiness.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, High School, Rural, Social Studies, College and Career Readiness, Academic Achievement, Longitudinal

Halvorsen, A. L., Duke, N. K., Brugar, K. A., Block, M. K., Strachan, S. L., Berka, M. B., & Brown, J. M. (2012). Narrowing the achievement gap in second-grade social studies and content area literacy: The promise of a project-based approach. Theory & Research in Social Education, 40(3), 198-229.

This study seeks to determine whether or not second-grade students from low socioeconomic status (SES) schools can make significant gains on standards-based social studies and literacy assessments when taught through project-based learning instruction. Additionally, the researchers asked if these students can reach a benchmark on these assessments set by students from high-SES schools. Students in this study were assessed before and after learning two project-based topics in the social studies content area. Students from two high-SES schools were also assessed to establish a benchmark in social studies and content area literacy. The project-based learning units in this study were designed with problems, issues, or questions that had “real-world” significance.

Sample size: 43 students from low-SES classrooms and 12 students from high -SES classrooms as well as six teachers participated in this study.

Methods: Both a qualitative and quantitative analysis were used for this study, based on data from pre- and post-tests, interviews, classroom observations, and student assessments.

Year: 2010-2011 AY

Location: The study looked at four classrooms from low-SES schools and two from high-SES schools all based in Michigan

Findings: Researchers found that low-SES students made statistically significant gains in both social studies and content literacy and showed no differences from students in the high-SES schools.  The study also concluded that project-based instruction contributed to closing the achievement gap on student assessments. Researchers concluded that an integrated, project-based approach to teaching social studies and content literacy is extremely promising when aiding low-SES students.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Equity, Academic Achievement, Social Studies, Content Area Literacy, Achievement Gap

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Kizkapan, O., & Bektas, O. (2017). The Effect of Project Based Learning on Seventh Grade Students’ Academic Achievement. International Journal of Instruction, 10(1), 37-54.

This study was conducted to determine if project-based learning could produce a significant effect on 7th grade students’ academic achievement. Students were placed in either a control group, which was taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods, or in the experimental group, where project-based learning occurred. Researchers aimed to see if project-based learning could be utilized to increase student academic achievement by improving higher order skills such as critical thinking, planning, problem solving and creativity.

Sample size: 38 students participated in this study.

Methods: A quantitative analysis was conducted based on data from student pre- and post-tests, lesson plans, and classroom observations. An independent t-test was performed, as well as an exploratory factor analysis in order to confirm validity.

Year: 2014-2015

Location: Turkey

Findings: Researchers found a significant difference did not exist between students’ achievement test post-test performance. However, the study suggests that some students could not show their academic performance due to complications and disagreements within group dynamics. Moreover, researchers feel there was no significant increase in scores due to a student fear of new methodology and a lack of interest towards the subject matter. The researchers also comment on the how the rural area limited resources, equipment, and communication.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Middle School, Rural, International, Academic Achievement

Karaçalli, S., & Korur, F. (2014). The Effects of Project‐Based Learning on Students’ Academic Achievement, Attitude, and Retention of Knowledge: The Subject of “Electricity in Our Lives”. School Science and Mathematics, 114(5), 224-235.

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of project-based learning on students’ academic achievement attitude, and retention of knowledge in a 4th grade science class. Students in the experimental group were taught through project-based learning methods and students in the control group were taught through non-project-based learning teaching methods. Students in both groups participated in work that included conducting experiments, writing lab reports, and making presentations.

Sample Size: 143 students from 18 elementary schools

Methods: Quasi-experimental factorial design based on data from pre and posttests given to both the experimental and control group.

Year: 2009-2010 AY

Location: Turkey

Findings: Researchers found a statistically significant difference between both groups regarding academic achievement and retention of knowledge. However, there was no statistically significant effect regarding attitudes of either group. Those in the project-based learning group appeared to show an increase in academic achievement and retention of knowledge when compared to the students being student with non-project-based learning teaching methods

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Quasi-Experimental, International, Student Achievement

Cakici, Y., & Turkmen, N. (2013). An Investigation of the Effect of Project-Based Learning Approach on Children’s Achievement and Attitude in Science. The Online Journal of Science and Technology, 3(2), 9-13.

This study aimed to examine the effects of project-based learning activities on 5th grade children’s science achievement, as well as their attitudes toward science. Students were divided randomly into two groups, one focusing on non-project-based learning teaching methods and one focusing on project based-learning methods. Both the control (n =22) and experimental (n =22) groups looked at a science unit on sound. Data was collected through two instruments: an attitude sale and an achievement test.

Sample size: 44 5th grade students

Methods: Quasi-experimental. Pre and post tests given to both the control and experimental groups. Independent samples t-test was used to analyze the outcomes in student achievement and attitude.

Year: 2011-2012 AY

Location:Northwestern part of Turkey

Findings: Results show that no significant difference was found between the control and the experimental groups for the pre-test, meaning both groups started equally in terms of attitude and achievement in science. A second t-test was given to both groups at the end of the project-based learning and non-project-based learning activities. Students in the experimental group, which focused on project-based learning, showed a significant difference in science achievement over the control group. There was no significant difference found between the two groups regarding attitudes towards science.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, Science Education, International, Quasi-Experimental, Science Achievement

Kaldi, S., Filippatou, D., & Govaris, C. (2011). Project-based learning in primary schools: effects on pupils’ learning and attitudes. Education 3–13, 39(1), 35-47.

This study focused on the effectiveness of project-based learning on primary school students regarding their content knowledge and attitudes towards self-efficacy, task value, group work, teaching methods, and peers from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Students with mixed learning abilities and multi-ethnic origin constituted the demographics for this study. Researchers based outcome measures on differences between pre and post test scores and data from implementing the project-based learning curriculum.

Sample Size: 94 students

Methods: Quasi-experimental design based on pre and post test data, student interviews, and classroom observations

Year: 2010 AY

Location: Greece

Findings: Findings support the view that students can gain benefits through project-based learning in obtaining content knowledge and group work skill. Students also became less interested in teacher-led lecture teaching methods and enjoyed experimental learning more. Self-efficacy, task value, and developing positive attitudes towards peers from a different ethnic background were shown to have changed in moderate levels by the end of the study.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Primary School, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, International

Chu, S. K. W., Tse, S. K., & Chow, K. (2011). Using collaborative teaching and inquiry project-based learning to help primary school students develop information literacy and information skills. Library & Information Science Research, 33(2), 132-143.

Researchers investigated the effect of combining a collaborative teaching approach with inquiry project-based learning on the development of primary students’ information literacy and information technology skills. The study took place in a primary school in Hong Kong and consisted two group projects that were done through project-based learning. The study consisted of two phases, the first lasting 10 weeks and the second lasting 9 weeks. Students worked in groups of five and six and were allowed to choose any topic of study based on the theme of each phase. At the end of each phase, each group prepared and presented a written report in front of the other students.

Sample size: 143 students, 11 teachers, 27 parents classrooms

Methods: Mixed methods design based on four different data collection methods: self-report questionnaires given to students, focus groups conducted with students, telephone interviews with parents, and interviews with teachers. Dependent samples t-test and a linear regression were conducted, as well as coding for identifying major themes from the interview data.

Year: 2010 AY

Location: Hong Kong

Findings: Findings suggest that the program had a positive impact on the development of students’ information literacy and information technology skills. All participants, including students, teachers, and parents, felt that the collaborative teaching and project-based learning approach helped students improve their skills.

Keywords: Project-Based Learning, Elementary School, International, Information Technology Skills, Mixed Methods

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

Lou, S. J., Chou, Y. C., Shih, R. C., & Chung, C. C. (2017). A Study of Creativity in CaC2 Steamship-derived STEM Project-based Learning. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology Education, 13(6), 2387-2404.
Clark, C. J. (2014). Self and Collective Efficacy Perceptions during Project-Based Learning Implementation. Ashland University, Ashland, OH, USA.
Cervantes, B. M. (2013). The Impact of Project-Based Learning on Mathematics and Reading Achievement of 7th and 8th Grade Students in a South Texas School District. University of Texas, Austin.
Olivarez, N. (2012). 1. The impact of a STEM program on academic achievement of eighth grade students in a south Texas middle school. Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Verma, A. K., Dickerson, D., & McKinney, S. (2011).1. Engaging students in STEM careers with project-based learning—MarineTech project. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 71(1).
Laboy-Rush, D. (2011). Integrated STEM education through project-based learning. Boston, MA: Learning.com.
Kubiatko, M., & Vaculová, I. (2011). Project-based learning: characteristic and the experiences with application in the science subjects. Energy Education Science and Technology Part B: Social and Educational Studies, 3(1), 65-74.
Redmond, A., Thomas, J., High, K., Scott, M., Jordan, P., & Dockers, J. (2011). Enriching science and math through engineering. School Science and Mathematics, 111(8), 399-408.
Alozie, N. M., Moje, E. B., & Krajcik, J. S. (2010). An analysis of the supports and constraints for scientific discussion in high school project‐based science. Science Education, 94(3), 395-427.
Baran, M., & Maskan, A. (2010). The effect of project-based learning on pre-service physics teachers electrostatic achievements. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 5(4), 243-257.
Filippatou, D., & Kaldi, S. (2010). The effectiveness of project-based learning on pupils with learning difficulties regarding academic performance, group work and motivation. International Journal of Special Education, 25(1), 17-26

Tags: