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Presentation of the Georgia Tech and Center for Teaching Team on the work with Project-based learning at public charter school in Atlanta, GA.

Presentation of the Georgia Tech and Center for Teaching Team on the work with Project-based learning at public charter school in Atlanta, GA.

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  • How do you evaluate whether a school is engaging in PBL? What does it really look like to evaluate inquiry and to know whether students are engaged in addressing complex, authentic questions through carefully designed products and tasks?
  • Curriculum, Lesson Presentation, Communication, Classroom Organization, Engagement, Questioning Skills, and Assessment.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Georgia Institute of Technology Evaluating the Essential Elements of Project-Based Learning: A Case Study of First-Year Implementation in One Urban School Jessica Gale, Ph.D.1 Christopher Cappelli, MPH 1 Jane Simpkins, B.S.2 Robert Ryshke, M.S.2 1Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) Georgia Institute of Technology 2The Westminster Schools Center for Teaching 2014 American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA
    • 2. Georgia Institute of Technology Project Based Learning (PBL) “A systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks” (BIE, p4).
    • 3. Georgia Institute of Technology “Doing Projects” vs. Project-Based Learning • Short-term • “Dessert” projects – often intended to supplement traditional instruction • Often done at home, individually, repeated year after year. (Larmer & Mergendoller, 2010; Mayer, 2012) • Longer term – can last weeks or even months • “Main Course” – primary vehicle for student learning • Often require teacher guidance, collaboration with other students.
    • 4. Georgia Institute of Technology PBL Implementation • Challenges at 3 levels (Krajcik et. al, 1994) – Teacher level: beliefs, previous experiences, PCK, commitment to innovation. – Classroom level: resources, class size, schedule. – School/Community level: curricular/testing policy, community involvement. • Ongoing support crucial for successful PBL implementation (Ertmer & Simons, 2006; Fullen, 1992; Tobin & Dawson, 1992)
    • 5. Georgia Institute of Technology Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the first- year implementation of project-based learning (PBL) in one urban charter school. The study documents the extent to which the school’s initial implementation exemplifies the eight essential elements of PBL (Buck Institute, 2012).
    • 6. Georgia Institute of Technology 8 Essential Elements of Project-Based Learning 21st Century Skills Significant Content In-Depth Inquiry Driving Question Need to Know Voice & Choice Revision and Reflection Public Audience
    • 7. Georgia Institute of Technology Case Study: PBL Charter School • Public Charter in urban school district in SE U.S. • Approximately 900 K-8 students – Predominantly low-income (60% Free/Reduced Lunch); 89% African American, 10% White, 4% Multi-racial, 3 % Hispanic • High achieving relative to district – EX: In 2012- 13, 98% of 3-8th graders met or exceed expectations in math vs. 74% in district. • Extended school day and year = 40 additional days • Departmentalized in 4-8th grade • Average class size – 22 students
    • 8. Georgia Institute of Technology Participants • All K-8 teachers (n=36) and administrators (n=4) • All attended Buck Institute PBL training during the summer of 2012 and 1-day follow-up workshop at mid-year. • Teachers worked in grade level teams to develop and implement interdisciplinary projects. • Y1 Implementation Goal: 2 major projects per grade level (1 each semester).
    • 9. Georgia Institute of Technology Methodology • Teacher Survey – Inquiry Based Instruction (IBI) survey adapted from Inquiry Within, Llewellyn, 2007. – Completed online before PBL Training (Spring 2012), mid- year, and end of school year (Spring, 2013). – 15 Items excerpted for current study (from 39). • Assesses teacher beliefs related to 6 of 8 Essential Elements – Each item rated on two 4-point scales: • 1)Importance: How important is this? (Very …Not Important) • 2)Implementation: How much do you do this? (Often….Never)
    • 10. Sample IBI Survey Items Essential Element IBI Survey Item Focus On Significant Content Preparing lessons in which subject areas are integrated. 21st Century Skills Providing opportunities for students to solve authentic real-world problems. In-Depth Inquiry Providing resources and manipulatives to students to stimulate their curiosity. Establishing a Need to Know Creating units that begin with a highly motivating problem, question, or demonstration. Voice and Choice Providing opportunities for students to design their own investigations. Revision and Reflection Encouraging students to reflect on their work.
    • 11. Georgia Institute of Technology Focus Groups and Interviews • Conducted with each grade level (K-8) at end of first year implementing PBL. • 4-6 teachers per group, 35 teachers total. • Additional interviews with 3 enrichment teachers and administrator PBL Coordinator). • 8 Essential Elements Checklist used as guide for 45-minute discussion.
    • 12. Survey Results • Overall increase in (already high) importance and implementation ratings from pre-post (**p<.01, *p<.05) 3.56 3.73 3.89 1 2 3 4 Importance 2.75 2.8 3.05 1 2 3 4 Implementation Pre Mid Post Very Important Not Important Always Often Sometimes Never ** *
    • 13. Survey Results 1 2 3 4 Significant Content 21st Century Skills In-Depth Inquiry Need to Know Voice and Choice Revision and Reflection Importance Scale Ratings by Essential Element Pre Mid Post Pre vs. Post: **p<.01, *p<.05 ** ** **** ***
    • 14. Survey Results 1 2 3 4 Significant Content 21st Century Skills In-Depth Inquiry Need to Know Voice and Choice Revision and Reflection Implementation Scale Ratings by Essential Element Pre Mid Post ** ** ** **** *
    • 15. Georgia Institute of Technology 8 Essential Elements of Project-Based Learning 21st Century Skills Significant Content In-Depth Inquiry Driving Question Need to Know Voice & Choice Revision and Reflection Public Audience
    • 16. Georgia Institute of Technology Strong Elements In-Depth Inquiry Need to Know Driving Question 21st Century Skills Revision and Reflection Voice & Choice Public Audience Variable Elements Most Challenging Elements Significant Content
    • 17. Georgia Institute of Technology Strong Elements In-Depth Inquiry Need to Know Driving Question 21st Century Skills Revision and Reflection Voice & Choice Public Audience Variable Elements Most Challenging Elements Significant Content
    • 18. Georgia Institute of Technology What certainly sticks out in my mind is to develop 21st Century Skills. When I talk with the students afterwards about the particular project, one of the things… when I ask them, “what do you feel like you learned?”…some keep talking about the fact that they learned the standards and the characters, but most of the students responded by stating that they learned how to work with others and problem-solve. 21st Century Skills
    • 19. Georgia Institute of Technology 21st Century Skills I’m seeing a lot of strides in positive directions with 21st Century Skills. As the kids are coming to me, I’m not having to spend as much time with group working skills and group dynamics and even problem solving, which tells me its happening elsewhere in the building. Problem solving is part of what happens in here, but they are hearing about it in other places too.
    • 20. Georgia Institute of Technology Significant Content • Teachers: students are mastering content, often w/increased depth, retention. • Administrators: concerns about alignment with grade level standards. • Major Challenges: – Defining “significant” content – Interdisciplinary project planning
    • 21. Significant Content
    • 22. Georgia Institute of Technology Voice & Choice “What I did was make a 5-page book and they did one page that reflected each region. Once they got that page, they could choose what to write, but I decided they were going to make a book, I decided it was going to be a 5 - page book and what it would look like... I wish it could have been more of them deciding what they want to execute.” - 2nd Grade Teacher
    • 23. Georgia Institute of Technology Discussion • Some Limitations – Self-report survey – Survey alignment to 8 Essential Elements – Limited generalizability • Future Directions – Student focus groups – Customizing PBL model at school level – PBL Implementation at 9-12th grade – PBL and 21st Century Skills
    • 24. Georgia Institute of Technology Discussion • Strong support for PBL with teachers reporting further increases in beliefs about importance and implementation during Y1. • Some potential factors accounting for variation across elements. – Interdependence among elements – Variation in the complexity of elements – Variation in demands for changing practice – Professional development – Organizational support
    • 25. Georgia Institute of Technology Thank you! Please feel free to contact: Jessica Gale, Ph.D. jessica.gale@ceismc.gatech.edu Christopher Cappelli, MPH chris.cappelli@ceismc.gatech.edu Jane Simpkins, BS janesimpkins@westminster.net Robert Ryshke, MS robertryshke@westminster.net This work was supported by a Race to the Top Innovation Grant administered by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.