Project-Based Learning: “promising but not proven” (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief (they have a blog now too) and this working paper will be of interest to a lot of people:

A working paper from MDRC builds on and updates a literature review of project-based learning (PBL) published in 2000. Focused primarily on articles and studies that have emerged in the last 17 years, the working paper discusses the principles of PBL, how PBL has been used in K-12 settings, the challenges teachers face in implementing it, how school and local factors influence its implementation, and what is known about its effectiveness in improving learning outcomes.
The report suggests that the evidence for PBL’s effectiveness in improving student outcomes is “promising, but not proven.”  The biggest challenge to evaluating the effectiveness of PBL, the researchers suggest, is a lack of consensus about the design of PBL and how it fits in with other teaching methods. Some studies have found positive effects associated with the use of PBL. However, without a clear vision of what a PBL approach should look like, it is difficult for teachers and schools to assess the quality of their own implementation and know how to improve their approach. They  also suggest that PBL implementation is particularly challenging because it changes student-teacher interactions and requires a shift from teacher-directed to student-directed inquiry, and requires non-traditional methods of assessment.
The paper concludes with recommendations for advancing the PBL research literature in ways that will improve PBL knowledge and practice.
Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Education, Research, Review

One response to “Project-Based Learning: “promising but not proven” (Best Evidence in Brief)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s