Studies have repeatedly documented an achievement gap in reading skills between socioeconomically disadvantaged students and their non-disadvantaged peers. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if implementation of project-based learning (PBL) methods of instruction would improve achievement in reading and language arts. Rooted in constructivist theory, the study included 45 8th-grade students rural Georgia that comprised the PBL intervention group and archival data from 42 students from the previous year that served as a retrospective comparison group instructed using traditional methods. Reading achievement was assessed via the Troup County benchmark (TCB) test for reading and language arts administered at the beginning and end of the school year to provide pre/post comparisons after 6 weeks of PBL versus traditional instruction. Paired sample t-tests indicated statistically significant improvement in both groups; however, an independent sample t-test revealed significantly greater improvement in the PBL group that was 3.5 times that of the comparison group, leading to the conclusion that PBL was the superior approach. Results of this study will assist educators in determining whether or not the current curriculum should be revised to include PBL strategies to enhance achievement for all students. The study informs the educational community of a research based practice, with demonstrated efficacy, that helps at-risk students who struggle in reading and language arts. The results can be utilized to bring about social change by ensuring that all students have a solid foundation for academic success and achievements later in their lives.Studies have repeatedly documented an achievement gap in reading skills between socioeconomically disadvantaged students and their non-disadvantaged peers.
|Title||:||Increasing Middle School Student Achievement in Reading and Language Arts with Project-based Learning Methods of Instruction|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2009|