February 21, 2021
Resource

Five Characteristics of Project-Based Learning

February 21, 2021
Resource
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Four newly released, peer-reviewed research studies show that rigorous project-based learning (PBL) has a strong, positive impact on student outcomes. Although the four PBL courses that the researchers studied cover different subjects and grades and vary in their approaches, they do share common characteristics.

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Research

The Impact of Project-Based Learning on AP Exam Performance

Harnessing a cluster randomized controlled trial, we estimated the impact on students’ advanced placement (AP) examination performance of a project-based learning (PBL) approach to AP compared with a lecture-based AP approach.

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Research

Fostering meaningful conversations about equity grounded in teacher practice

Miller, E.A., Reigh, E.V., & Simani, M.C. (2022). STEM Teaching Tools Practice Brief 88: Equity Implementation. Meaningful conversations about equity in science education can be hard to start and even more difficult to sustain. Many teachers lack opportunities to deeply and openly discuss equitable instruction. Researchers or administrators often share equitable instructional practices with teachers […]

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Research Award

Equity-Centered Learning Environments (ECLEs) 

LER funded four research teams who are engaged in ongoing research addressing equity and student-centered learning in educational contexts across the country.

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Research Award

Democratic Knowledge Project

The Democratic Knowledge Project is a project-based learning civics initiative that includes a year-long 8th-grade civics curriculum, Civic Engagement in Our Democracy.

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Research

Mapping Enabling Conditions for High-Quality PBL: A Collaboratory Approach

This paper explores enabling conditions for scaling high-quality project-based learning (PBL) to understand factors that influence how PBL spreads, whether and how it can be sustained and the extent to which it informs meaningful change in schools.

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Research

Designing Project-Based Learning Curricula

This paper provides instructional designers with guidance on how to design high-quality PBL curricula, drawing on the LER research base, the learning science literature, and best practices from the field. To provide developers with guideposts that can inform design decisions, the paper describes a set of design principles that can support the creation of content-rich, student-centered experiences.

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Research

Interdisciplinary Education: Literature Review and Landscape Analysis  

Related to project-based learning, interdisciplinary education can create more relevant learning experiences for all students. This report, produced by RTI International for Lucas Education Research, explores the field of interdisciplinary education through an extensive literature review and landscape analysis. In both parts of the report, RTI examines the definitions of interdisciplinary education; how, where, and why the approach is practiced; and finally the existing research, resources, and structures for interdisciplinary education.

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Research

Motivating Teaching, Sustaining Change in Practice

Miller, E.C., Severance, S., and Krajcik, J. (2021). Motivating Teaching, Sustaining Change in Practice: Design Principles for Teacher Learning in Project-Based Learning Contexts, Journal of Science Teacher Education, 32:7, 757-779 In A Framework for K-12 Science Education, researchers call for teachers to make dramatic shifts in practice – and sustain in these changes in practice […]

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Research Award

Enabling Conditions Collaboratory

The Enabling Conditions Collaboratory brought together four research teams to work towards understanding the conditions that support high-quality PBL.

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Research

Project-Based Learning in San Francisco: Research Study Sparks Middle School Science Curriculum

When the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) was looking for a new middle school science curriculum in 2016, it sought a program that would align with the new Next Generation Science Standards and the district’s equity goals.

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