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A Study of How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Project-Based Learning (PBL) Can Improve Student Engagement
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Schools and teachers are facing a difficult challenge of how to keep students engaged in mathematics and students’ lack of engagement is common nationally. The research conducted for this study focused on the effects of STEM PBL on student engagement. The drive for the present study was to understand the effects STEM PBL instruction has on student engagement compared to non-STEM PBL instruction. There has been growing evidence that STEM PBL instruction increases student engagement and enhances the academic learning across demographic demarcations. In order to cognize how engagement is influenced by instructional methods an experimental design was used where three conditions were established and students were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions. Confidence intervals were used to compare means across 8 engagement structures within the three conditions. These results suggest that student engagement as measured by engagement structures can be separated across teachers and that lesson type may influence student engagement as measured by the same instrument. Those 8 structures were then subjected to an exploratory factor analysis that produced two-second order factors allowing for a separation between academic and behavioral engagement. These results showed more specifically the influence of STEM PBL on students’ academic engagement. Overall it is suggested that student engagement was greater with the STEM PBL instructional strategy than the other two.
Craft, Ashley Marrie (2017). A Study of How Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Project-Based Learning (PBL) Can Improve Student Engagement. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from