am The effectiveness compared to traditional teaching methods

am interested in looking at different teaching methods and the effects on student engagement, outcomes and ease of implementation of different types of curriculum. Specifically, I would like to explore the impact of Project-Based Learning (PBL) in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education compared to traditional teaching methods. This area is lacking in research generally but even more when specifically looking at Ontario. The effectiveness compared to traditional teaching methods needs more research (Thomas. J, 2000). I was a science/math teacher and I am passionate about allowing students to explore and learn through interest rather than the idea of required knowledge.
The article looks at specifically defining the current research on project-based learning (PBL) and the positive and negative effects of it. The author defines PBL in a few contexts and specifically how to identify PBL curricula. It explains how the PBL needs to be a focus of the curriculum not a subsection of it, is student guided and more realistic than school. It looks at the difference between project-based and problem-based (PmBL) learning, how they are used in schools, and includes how each study has added to the current body of research. It shows that PBL is more effective and engaging for most students compared to a traditional classroom. The students also gained skills in critical thinking which students from traditional teaching methods lacked. It gives a good idea of what type of measures of data is currently being used to assess PBL. It explains some of the basic problems when using PBL in classrooms. It identifies some key areas which need further research in this field and how to improve the creation of PBL. It also looks at how schools and teachers are currently using PBL and the positives and negatives regarding their uses. It explains that the research regarding PBL is new and many teachers and schools do not fully know how or have the resources to use it effectively.
The thesis I looked had two key research questions; retention of the professional development on the teachers’ STEM PBL implementation in class, and what was the understanding and implementation needs to be addressed by the science teachers involved. They discussed the difference between project and problem-based learning and what they were choosing for their study and why. The study had subcategories of gender and age. They worked in a theoretical framework involving inquiry and constructivism. The study used the TOSRA survey to assess the attitudes of learning. Their study had a total of 45 students included and had two project-based lessons in a nine-week period. The study showed some attitude differences in the social and adaption sections of the TORSA survey. At the end of their paper, they included all of the resources that they used and a sample of the TORSA survey.
I would like to do a quantitative research style and design specifically a quasi-experimental design looking at the effects of PBL on students and teachers. I will be using SPSS to analyze the data which I get from test results and surveys regarding student/teacher engagement. The research which has been done in areas similar to my own have also quantitative research, sometimes they used mixed methods to get a fuller perspective on the issue. This methodology also allows you expand your results to a larger group than the one sampled. This mean that the information gathered from this study may help to influence curriculum development at the city or provincial level.
This paper explains downfalls and strengths in project based learning. It identifies more specific research needs to be done in this area. This is specifically looking at engineering undergraduates and if they are more able to apply the knowledge they know by learning through this method. This study showed that PBL was more effective for students.
Helle, L., Tynjälä, P., & Olkinuora, E. (2006). Project-based learning in post-secondary education – Theory, practice and rubber sling shots. Higher Education, 51(2), 287–314. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-004-6386-5
This showed the improvement in results in children who used technology integrated PBL compared to regular teaching methods. There were several different tests which were looked at and all students groups in the PBL test did more successfully. They were able to use a variety of standardized tests normally given to students in that age category. This was also interesting because it was studying a history class, rather than a STEM class.
Hernández-ramos, P., Paz, S. D. La, & Hernandez-ramos, P. (2015). Learning History in Middle School by Designing Multimedia in a Project-Based Learning Experience Learning History in Middle School by Designing Multimedia in a Project-Based Learning Experience, 1523(December). https://doi.org/10.1080/15391523.2009.10782545
This shows that teachers are able to incorporate PBL into their classrooms successfully while still focusing on the requirements from the curriculum. This study was looking at kindergarten age children and what the effects of using PBL were on the teachers performance and attitude towards teaching. This study is a starting area for PBL but does not look at the idea fully or holistically.
Mitchell, S., Foulger, T. S., Wetzel, K., & Rathkey, C. (2009). The Negotiated Project Approach: Project-Based Learning without Leaving the Standards behind. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(4), 339–346. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-008-0295-7
This was a Ph.D dissertation. Inquiry based learning methods increases standardized test score results compared to classical methods. This is true when comparing different SES and comparing gender. There was not a statistically significant difference when comparing african american children. This study had high participant numbers and a large study size.
Powell, P. E. (2010). The effect of instructional methodology on high school students natural sciences standardized tests scores, 3216. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8616.2008.00521.x
Teachers found that it is harder to assess when using PBL. Students feel like they are more able to adapt to real world situations and understand problems more fully. This was looking at the undergraduate engineering curriculum and created a framework which helps plan PBL curriculum. It specifically explain the effects it had on each age group of students from first to last year of university.
Malik, Savage, R., Chen, K., & Vanasupa, L. (2009). Integrating project-based learning throughout the undergraduate engineering curriculum. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 37(1), 25–25. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMR.2009.4804346
PBL can increase effectiveness and generate meaningful learning for students. They have better attitudes towards future careers in STEM. This article gives the projects which students where able to produce during the classes.
Progressive, inquiry-based and data-driven teaching methods while allowing all students to have the best possible education available is something I believe Ontario should be focusing on. Globally, STEM education is an expanding field. Canada does not currently have a policy around STEM education and there is a lack of STEM graduates coming out of university which will have an impact economically on the country. (DeCoito, 2016) There is a gap in educational research exploring teaching strategies and the relationship to students learning and critical thinking about topics impacting our world. There are few studies completed in Canada or Ontario looking at this method and the effects it has.
The effects of PBL on student performance has shown to be effective in many different contexts PBL allows students to develop these skills and take responsibility for their learning (Powell, 2010). In my proposed research, I will be exploring the impact of PBL in STEM education compared to traditional teaching methods in Ontario at the high school level. The focus PBL moves from teacher’s content knowledge, to student interest within the constraints of the curriculum and content. l will provide students with a comprehensive scientific view of the topic selected, the processes involved, and how to learn science while addressing the issues of puesdo-science that is currently permeating the media. Allowing students to engage with their own misconceptions of science is important to help them assess the information that they will be engaging with. I believe that teachers in Ontario have the ability to experiment with implementation with a lower perceived risk because there are few high stakes standardized tests especially when compared to countries like the UK, USA, or China. Increasing research in this area and exposing more teachers to this and other more effective teaching methods could help to increase engagement and keep competitive on a global scale.