The verdict is out. And not that it should surprise any of us, especially from what we have witnessed first hand with students in our classrooms.
Project-Based Learning Improves Student Performance and Helps Close the Equity Gap.
A groundbreaking longitudinal study released by the George Lucas Foundation conducted by researchers across a number of universities found these results:
- High school students who engaged in project-based learning outperformed peers by 8 percentage points on A.P. exams
- Third graders in PBL classrooms scored 8 percentage points higher than peers on a state science test; across all demographics of race, gender or reading ability
- Second grade students from low income communities in 24 PBL classrooms gained 6 months more learning than peers in non-project based classrooms
- Sixth grade English Language Learners (ELL) who took a project-based science course scored 28% higher on state measures of language proficiency
But even more importantly, these studies revealed what we practitioners have ALWAYS known- project-based learning strengthens student engagement, improves learning and retention, and boosts achievement across all subjects, and all learners.
Here is the link to those research studies.
Here is the link to the research summary put out by EduTopia.
Here is the link to an incredible one hour long webinar with insights and interviews from the researchers, teachers, community leaders and students on the transformational power of project-based learning in classrooms and schools.