Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential to Project-Based Learning
Baines, A.M., De Vivo, K., Warner, N., DeBarger, A., Udall, D., Zuckerbrod, N., & Felsen, K. (2021). Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential to Project-Based Learning. Lucas Education Research.
This paper looks at the connection between project-based learning and social and emotional learning (SEL). While all learning experiences benefit from a supportive social and emotional learning process and context, the collaborative and student-led nature of project-based learning (PBL) necessitates an emphasis on SEL. This paper explores that relationship and what’s needed for PBL to succeed. It also describes the ways in which a project-based approach can help a school or classroom meet its SEL goals.
The authors highlight research studies that examine the impact of PBL approaches on students’ social and emotional development. For example, they describe how an elementary science curriculum helps students reflect on and take ownership of their work, how a ninth grade English language arts curriculum promotes empathy and self-advocacy, and how a middle-school PBL science curriculum explicitly teaches collaboration skills.
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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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