The appropriation of project-based teaching as a contributory factor to student success



Under Québec's current education reform, project-based teaching has been recommended and implemented in a number of elementary schools.

This step aims to foster the acquisition of disciplinary and transversal skills through the use of a multidisciplinary approach, thereby contributing to the success of all students, including those with special needs.

Our findings are meant to encourage reflection on the implementation of this educational approach.

However, existing studies do not provide much insight into the ways in which this educational approach is appropriated by the school as a whole or the conditions that foster the effectiveness of this appropriation.

This research project sought to examine the process of appropriation by the staff of several elementary schools and to identify the success factors for the implementation of project-based teaching. We began by observing the appropriation and implementation of project-based teaching and teachers', students', school administrators' and parents' perceptions of this new approach. We then studied the link between project-based teaching practices and the school's Educational Project. This exploratory descriptive research project used the multi-site case study method and benefitted from the collaboration of five elementary schools in the Outaouais region.

We also examined the functioning of the school staff and the Educational Project descriptions of the partner schools: those schools that cite collaborative practices were observed to appropriate project-based teaching in a more harmonious manner. At the end of the research we identify conditions that could be put in place to facilitate the appropriation of project-based teaching. We hope that our findings will encourage reflection within the schools on the implementation of this educational approach.

Main researcher

Ekaterini Lanaris, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: March 2008