AN EXAMINATION OF PROJECT BASED LEARNING IN RELATIONSHIP TO STUDENT SELF-CONCEPT
A small U.S. school district explored Project Based Learning (PBL) in response to the problem of disengaged high school students, uninterested in traditional school coursework, structure, and environment. The district implemented PBL to provide an inquiry-based curriculum that focused on individual student interests, autonomous investigative activities, and the development of 21st Century skills that supported communication and interpersonal connections. The participants in this study were high school members of an intact group of students enrolled in a small charter high school. Eighty-six percent of students were eligible to receive free or reduced lunch. A quasi-experimental one-group, pretest-treatment-posttest pilot study examined the possible impact PBL exerted on student self-concept. The Piers-Harris 2 Children's Self-concept Scale measured students' self-perceptions before and after implementation of the 18-week treatment condition (PBL). Seven students participated in the treatment. Results indicated that all students' TOT self-concept scores were higher on the posttest as compared to the pretest. Other increases were found in the Intellectual and School Status subscales for some of the children in the study.
Project method in teaching