How Project-Based Learning promotes 7th grade students' motivation and attitudes towards studying biology
Keywords:biology, project-based learning, PBL, student attitudes, student motivation
Students' attitudes and motivations affect their learning process and their academic success. The purpose of the present study is to examine the influence of the use of Project-Based Learning (PBL) on Arab sector middle-school students' attitudes and motivation towards biology. The study was conducted using a mixed design, quantitative as well as qualitative. The quantitative part took the form of questionnaires and the qualitative part consisted of a semi-structured interview with students. In this quasi experimental study, the research population consisted of 178 7th grade students of the Arab sector in northern Israel. The study's findings indicate that an intervention program consisting mainly of combining the teaching of biology with PBL resulted in both increased motivation among students and more positive attitudes towards biology. Students reported greater pleasure, curiosity, interest and cooperation as a result of using PBL in learning about the cell in biology. Introduction of PBL into standard teaching can bring about improvements in both students' motivation and their attitudes. It may be argued that the intervention that was applied in this case contributed to the improvement. The results helps in the formulation of recommendations for applying the PBL in biology and perhaps in other subjects as well.
Ahmed, A. K. (2013). Teacher-centered versus learner-centered teachingstyle. The Journal of Global Business Management, 9(1), 22-34.
Bahar, M. (2009). The relationships between pupils' learning styles and their performance in mini science projects. Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice, 9(1), 31-49.
Barak, M. (2012). From 'doing' to ' doing with learning': Reflection on an effort to promote self-regulated in technological projects in high school. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37(1), 105-116.
Baş, G., & Beyhan, Ö. (2010). Effects of multiple intelligences supported project-based learning on students’ achievement levels and attitudes towards English lesson. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 2(3), 365-385.
Bell, S. (2010). Project-based learning for the 21st century: Skills for the future. The Clearing House, 83(2), 39-43.
Bingolbali, E., Monaghan, J., & Roper, T. (2007). Engineering students’ conceptions of the derivative and some implications for their mathematical education. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 38(6), 763–777.
Brooks, J. G., & Brooks, M. G. (1993). In search of understanding: The case for constructivist classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Coyne, J., Hollas, T., & Potter, J. P. (2016). Jumping in: Redefining teaching and learning in physical education through project-based learning. A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, 29(1), 43-46.
David, J. L. (2008). Project-based learning. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 80-82.
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Deci, E. L., Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). Motivation and education: The self-determination perspective. Educational Psychologist, 26(3-4), 325-346.
Dolmans, D. H., De Grave, W., Wolfhagen, I. H., & Van Der Vleuten, C. P. (2005). Problem based learning: Future challenges for educational practice and research. Medical Education, 39(7), 732-741.
Duckworth, E. (2009). Helping students get to where ideas can find them. The New Educator, 5(3), 185-188.
Filippatou, D., & Kaldi, S. (2010). The effectiveness of project-based learning on pupils with learning difficulties regarding academic performance, group work and motivation. International Journal of Special Education, 25(1), 17-26.
Genc, M. (2015). The project-based learning approach in environmental education. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 24(2), 105-117.
Hugerat, M. (2016). How teaching science using project-based learning strategies affects the classroom learning environment. Learning Environments Research, 19(3), 383-395.
Kaldi, S., Filippatou, D., & Govaris, C. (2011). Project-based learning in primary schools: Effects on pupils' learning and attitudes. Education 3–13, 39(1), 35- 47.
Kanter, D. E., & Konstantopoulos, S. (2010). The impact of a project‐based science curriculum on minority student achievement, attitudes, and careers: The effects of teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge and inquiry‐based practices. Science Education, 94(5), 855-887.
Khalil, M. (2001). Cognitive and effective unit assessment on microorganisms with STS approach to ninth grade. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Technion, Haifa (In Hebrew).
Kim, J. S. (2005). The effects of a constructivist teaching approach on student academic achievement, self-concept, and learning strategies. Asia Pacific Education Review, 6(1), 7-19.
Lam, S. F., Cheng, R. W. Y., & Ma, W. Y. (2009). Teacher and student intrinsic motivation in project-based learning. Instructional Science, 37(6), 565-578.
Langbeheim, E. (2015). A project-based course on Newton’s laws for talented junior high-school students. Physics Education, 50(4), 410-415.
Markic, S., Eilks, I., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Hugerat, M., Kortam, N., Dkeidek, I., & Hofstein, A., & (2016). One country, two cultures – A multi-perspective view on Israeli chemistry teachers` beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 22(2), 131-147.
Ministry of Education (2014). Project based learning. Education for thinking. Jerusalem: Pedagogic Secretariat, Department of Pedagogic Development (In Hebrew).
Moylan, W. (2008). Learning by project: Developing essential 21st century skills using student team projects. International Journal of Learning, 15(9), 287-292.
Nolen, S. B. (2003). Learning environment, motivation, and achievement in high school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(4), 347–368.
Özdemir, A. S., Yildiz, F., & Yildiz, S. G. (2015). The effect of project based learning in "Ratio, Proportion and Percentage" unit on mathematics success and attitude. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 3(1), 1-13.
Prokop, P., Prokop, M., & Tunnicliffe, S. D. (2007). Is biology boring? Student attitudes toward biology. Journal of Biological Education, 42(1), 36-39.
Ravitz, J., Hixson, N., English, M., & Mergendoller, J. (2012). Using project based learning to teach 21st century skills: Findings from a statewide initiative. In Annual Meetings of the American Educational Research Association. Vancouver, BC.
Retrieved from http://www. bie. org/research/study/PBL_21CS_WV.
Shah, Z., A. & Mahmood, N. (2011). Developing a scale to measure attitude towards science learning among school students. Bulletin of Education and Research, 33(1), 71-81.
Skaalvik, S., & Skaalvik, E. M. (2004). Gender differences in math and verbal self-concept, performance expectations, and motivation. Sex Roles, 50(3-4), 241-252.
Solomon, G. (2003). Project-based learning: A primer. Technology and Learning-Dayton‚ 23(6), 20-30.
Stefanou, C., Stolk, J., Prince, M., Chen, J., & Lord, S. (2013). Self-regulation and autonomy in problem and project-based learning environments. Active Learning in Higher Education, 14(2), 109-122.
Terasawa, I. (2016). Challenge study: A project-based learning on a wireless communication system at technical high school. Higher Education Studies, 6(1), 110-115.
Thomas, J. W. (2000). A review of research on project-based learning. Report prepared for the Autodesk Foundation.
Retrieved April 27, 2016 from: http://www.bie.org/Files/researchreviewPBL.pdf.
Tseng, K. H., Chang, C. C., Lou, S. J., & Chen, W. P. (2013). Attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in a project-based learning (PBL) environment. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 23(1), 87-102.
Westwood, P. (2006). Teaching and learning difficulties: Cross-curricular perspectives. Camberwell, Vic.: ACER Press.
Wohlfarth, D., Sheras, D., Bennett, J. L., Simon, B., Pimentel, J. H., & Gabel, L. E. (2008). Student perceptions of learner-centered teaching. Insight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, 3, 67-74.
Wolk, R. (2010). Education: The case for making it personal. Educational Leadership, 67(7), 16-21.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright © Authors