CIJS gives students the tools they need to solve problems through the use of higher level thinking, rather than by rote memorization. When students are interested in what they are learning and taught the process of problem solving, then they actually understand content, which allows them to solve problems in any situation. Not only will students transition well to a different environment, but they will go into a regular classroom with more tools necessary and a higher ability to pass the state tests. Project-based curricula is becoming increasingly well-regarded and used in 21st century learning.
K-4 school in Kansas had the following scores after changing their curriculum from a traditional approach to PBL
- 2,500 6th grade students in 42 different Detroit Middle schools were randomly selected to participate in either a PBL or a traditional curriculum model of teachingTeachers were given professional development opportunities in both groups. Both groups used the same curriculum framework and standardsResults* Significant and continual increased gains in standardized test scores over the four year study
* Students using PBL consistently outperformed students using traditional teaching methods on standardized tests
Boaler (2002) demonstrated that when PBL was introduced into two secondary schools, more than three times as many students passed national exams (outperforming those in traditional schools)
*Research from Vanderbilt University (1992) revealed PBL increased student skills in reasoning, planning, and problem-solving
PBL introduced into a middle school in Portland, Maine
* Standardized State Tests Year 1 after implementing PBL, scores improved 3 to 10 times more than the state as a whole
* Average of 59 point increase in scores after introducing PBL whereas the (previous years showed a decrease when using a traditional approach)
* Other schools only had an average gain of 15 points
* Even more impressively, this was the year the number of ESL (English as a second language) students increased from 6% to 22%
* Standardized State Tests Year 2 increased an additional 25 points
* Similar gains were reported in schools using PBL in Colorado, Decatur, Georgia, Cincinnati, Memphis and New York City
* Attendance rates Increased to over 90% in all schools using PBL
* A school in Cincinnati went from 75% to over 95% attendance within two years
Studies show marked student improvement when using the PBL approach:
CIJS participated in state assessments for the FSA during the 2020/2021 school year. While we were not required to accept the scores due to COVID, therefore we do not have a school grade, CIJS outperformed the district schools on the tests.
Kindergarten students are required to take the FLKRS state tests upon entry to school. Those results for our returning VPK students showed that 87% met or exceeded the state expectations which was amazing during the COVID pandemic year.