A Longitudinal Investigation of Project–based Instruction and Student Achievement in High School Social Studies

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Emily J. Summers
Gail Dickinson


This longitudinal study focused on how project–based instruction (PBI) influencedsecondary social studies students’ academic achievement and promoted College andCareer Readiness (CCR). We explored and compared student achievement in a PBI highschool versus a traditional instruction high school within the same rural school district.While previous literature indicated that PBI involved more preparation time and a steeperlearning curve for both teachers and students, we found that in high school social studies,students’ achievement gains actualized within one year. PBI students outperformedpeers who learned from a traditional curriculum in both social studies achievement andCCR preparedness.

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