Project-Based Learning Increases Science Achievement in Elementary Schools and Improves Social and Emotional Learning
Krajcik, J., Schneider, B., Miller, E., Chen, I.C., Bradford, L., Bartz, K., Baker, Q., Palincsar, A., Peek-Brown, D., Codere, S., & Lucas Education Research. (2021). Project-Based Learning Increases Science Achievement in Elementary Schools and Improves Social and Emotional Learning. Lucas Education Research.
This is a review of the findings of a study investigating the impact of a project-based elementary science curriculum on academic achievement and aspects of social and emotional learning. The study by Michigan State and University of Michigan researchers found that use of the project-based learning (PBL) program, Multiple Literacies in Project-based Learning (ML-PBL), led to gains among third-grade students in science achievement.
Students in ML-PBL classrooms outperformed their peers in non-PBL classrooms by 8 percentage points on a summative science assessment. They also grew in areas of self-reflection and collaboration. The results held for all subgroups of students. So, for example, struggling readers in the ML-PBL classrooms outperformed struggling readers using more traditional approaches. ML-PBL includes high-quality professional development, which is necessary for teachers to switch from more traditional forms of instruction to rigorous PBL.