Date of Award
Administrative and Instructional Leadership
Rosalba Del Vecchio
Thinking creatively and critically, demonstrating effective problem-solving skills, and communicating powerfully and compellingly to a wide range of audiences, are undoubtedly some of the most important skills necessary for success in our global society. The purpose of this study is to explore the connection between the development of students’ creativity and problem-solving skills to academic achievement. This study examines schools that emphasize the development of students’ problem-solving skills by employing project-based learning (PBL) as a core method of instruction, and its impact on students’ academic achievement in English Language Arts and in mathematics. This study also examines the impact of the different methods of instruction on the school environment, which can be one of the most important factors affecting student learning.
The target population for this quantitative study are 4th and 8th grade students in an urban public-school system receiving instruction, either primarily through a traditional method of instruction or through instruction employing the project-based learning method. In the study, the results of The New York State Grade 4 and Grade 8 English Language Arts Test and the New York State Mathematics Test, reflecting students’ academic achievement, from all 50 elementary schools (19 PBL, 31 traditional) and 22 middle schools (12 PBL, 10 traditional) in two NYC districts were analyzed. Findings from this study revealed that there were statistically significant differences on both the NYS ELA Test and the NYS Math Test between the two groups (PBL vs. traditional) for both 4th grade and 8th grade students. To examine the impact of the different instructional approaches on the school environment, results of the NYC School Survey data on subareas of Rigorous Instruction and School Environment were analyzed. Findings from this analysis revealed that there was a statistically significant correlation between the instructional approach employed and the Quality of Student Discussion. Moreover, there was statistically significant correlation between the instructional approach employed and Supportive Environment of High Expectations. The results from this study provides an exciting illustration of a strong positive correlation between PBL, an instruction approach that focuses on the development of students’ creativity and problem-solving skills, and academic achievement.
Hwang, Nayeon Naomi, "PROJECT BASED LEARNING IN URBAN PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATION AND ITS IMPACT ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 293.