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.
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Including teachers in the social justice equation of project-based learning: A response to Lee & Grapin
Adah Miller, E., Makori, H., Akgun, S., Miller, C., Li, T., & Codere, S. (2022). Including teachers in the social justice equation of project-based learning: A response to Lee & Grapin. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 1– 7.Learn More
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
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 […]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
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
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
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