Project-Based Learning Boosts Student Achievement in AP Courses
Saavedra, A.R., Liu Y., Haderlein, S.K., Rapaport, A., Garland, M., Hoepfner, D., Morgan, K.L., Hu, A., & Lucas Education Research. (2021). Project-Based Learning Boosts Student Achievement in AP Courses. Lucas Education Research.
This brief examines the findings of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California examining a project-based approach to Advanced Placement courses. The randomized study found the proportion of students earning a credit-qualifying score on the AP test was 8 percentage points higher in the project-based version of the course, as compared to traditional instruction, after teachers had been teaching with the Knowledge in Action (KIA) program for a year. The gain was estimated to be 10-percentage points higher after teachers used the curriculum and related supports for two years.
The researchers examined the impact of project-based learning on AP U.S. Government and AP Environmental Science courses in five predominantly urban districts around the country. A higher proportion of the students were from low-income households than is typical of the AP test-taking community. That’s notable, as policymakers and educators are trying to get more unrepresented students enrolled in and passing AP courses.
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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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.Learn More
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 […]Learn More
Enabling Conditions Collaboratory
The Enabling Conditions Collaboratory brought together four research teams to work towards understanding the conditions that support high-quality PBL.Learn More
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.Learn More
Project-Based Learning: How It Can Support Your Child (English Version)
This resource can help parents understand the benefits of rigorous project-based learning.Learn More
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