Dissertation Prospectus Presentation — Nicholas Boyers
” Teacher and Administrator perception of project-based learning”
by: Nicholas Boyers
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a leaching method in which students gain knowledge by working for an extended period of time on a particular question, problem, or challenge. This dissertation will examine teacher and administrator perceptions of the impact of project-based learning on elementary students. The study explores PBL’s effects on (a) student academic achievement, (b) student engagement, and (c) students’ ability to inquire and reflect on their learning. What are teacher and administrator perceptions of the effect of project-based learning on student outcomes at a suburban elementary school? Three guiding questions serve as the foundation of the study. What is the perception of teachers and administrators with regards to PBL’s effectiveness on student engagement? How do teachers and administrators describe the impact of PBL on student inquiry and reflection? What is the perception of teachers and administrators on PBL’s impact on student academic achievement? Using case study methods this dissertation will focus on student engagement, reflection, and academic achievement. Data will be gather from teacher and administrator interviews, classroom observations, and student artifacts. Individuals in the study will describe their experiences with PBL and how it has affected student outcomes. Purposive sampling will be used because the teachers and administrators who are selected will have been through extensive PBL training through the Buck Institute. Participants in the study will include no more than two administrators and no more than six teachers who attended the Buck Institute training. The researcher will observe student presentations at the end of the project in each of the six classes of the teachers that are selected. Six 45-60 minute observations will be conducted to gain further insight into PBL and its Implementation in the classrooms of teachers who attended the Buck Institute training. The study contributes to the literature by providing additional information on the effect of PBL on elementary student outcomes.