Recent studies on professional development programs indicate these programs, when sustained, have a positive impact on student achievement; however, many of these studies have failed to use longitudinal data. The purpose of this study is to understand the influence of STEM PBL implementation level on students’ achievement after a sustained professional development program.
Material and methods:
Three urban high schools in the southwest U.S. were assigned to participate in a professional development program for STEM teachers. Data for 565 students from these schools were collected at grade 8, 10, and 11. School 1 had a high level of STEM PBL implementation, school 2 showed an average level of STEM PBL implementation, and school 3 had almost no STEM PBL implementation.
Results from analyses indicated students’ success for school 1 were significantly different than students’ success for schools 2 and 3. Results also indicated no difference in student data for ethnicity in school 1.
Conclusions drawn from this study suggest full STEM PBL implementation positively influences student achievement whereas partial implementation with another strategy or innovation negatively influences student achievement.
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