CELL’s research team recently presented three papers at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
- “The Impact of Project-Based Learning on STEM Education in High-Need Schools” reported results of a student survey which measured behaviors and perceptions of STEM teachers and their implementation of project-based learning (PBL) as an instructional approach. Students were asked about their feelings about classroom culture, engagement, and interest in STEM subjects. Results showed a positive relationship between PBL and STEM learning. Students whose STEM teachers utilized PBL as their primary instructional approach reported higher levels of engagement, more positive classroom culture, and greater interest in STEM subjects.
- “Implementing Project-Based Learning at the Middle School Level” shared outcomes of a mixed methods study including data collected through student and teacher surveys, classroom observations, and teacher interviews. Students were asked about their perceptions on how their teachers incorporated PBL and technology into their instruction. Findings revealed that higher levels of technology integration and project-based learning instruction were statistically significant predictors of more positive perceptions about classroom culture, community involvement, 21st-century skills learning, and other learning outcomes such as engagement, education goals, and achievement. However, technology integration was a stronger predicator than PBL instruction.
- “Lessons from a University-Based Mentoring Program” detailed findings of a case study of UIndy’s Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship mentoring program. This program offers WWTF graduates mentoring support during their first three years of teaching. Data was collected through observations and interviews with Fellows and their mentors. Findings indicated that Fellows and mentors appreciated the flexibility of the program to respond to Fellows’ individual mentoring needs. Fellows also appreciated the supplemental support provided through professional development workshops and mentioned the most beneficial element of these workshops was the opportunity to collaborate and problem-solve together.
Aside from presenting, the research team was also able to attend a variety of sessions on research related to CELL initiatives including high school-to-college transitions, high school reform, teacher evaluation, STEM teaching and learning, teacher professional development, and PBL.
CELL’s research and evaluation initiative provides support and opportunities for CELL’s work to expand in schools across the state.