Performance of students in project-based science classrooms on a national measure of science achievement

Rebecca M. Schneider, Joseph Krajcik, Ronald W Marx, Elliot Soloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations


Reform efforts in science education emphasize the importance of supporting students' construction of knowledge through inquiry. Project-based science (PBS) is an ambitious approach to science instruction that addresses concerns of reformers. A sample of 142 10th-and 11th-grade students enrolled in a PBS program completed the 12th-grade 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) science test. Compared with subgroups identified by NAEP that most closely matched our student sample, White and middle class, PBS students outscored the national sample on 44% of NAEP test items. This study shows that students participating in a PBS curriculum were prepared for this type of testing. Educators should be encouraged to use inquiry-based approaches such as PBS to implement reform in their schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-422
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Education

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