Thesis Title

Project Based Learning for Life Skill Building in 12th Grade Social Studies Classrooms: A Case Study

Graduation Date

Summer 2010

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


Based on the assumption that project based learning (PBL) in 12,h grade social studies classrooms contributes to the development of life skills for high school seniors in this advanced and globalized time, this research will investigate student experiences with PBL methods for helping them acquire skills along with a case study of a successful PBL program.

The purpose of this study is to help educators discern the value of this instructional strategy. Constructivism refers to the concept that students learn through their experiences and curriculum designed around the Theory of Multiple Intelligences allows them the opportunity to learn through a variety of methods during each lesson.

A qualitative approach to gathering research, using the interview format was conducted with three teachers who agreed to participate in the study. These teachers had created a unique PBL program in their high school classrooms. The focus of their work was to document the success in teaching life skills to high school students with the goal of preparing them for college, jobs, and life after secondary education. I also gathered information by observing the teachers as they were involved in working actively with students using PBL.

The major themes found within the literature highlight the success of the project based learning method, the importance of skill building for life and that fundamental changes are needed for education and instruction.

I believe that I can conclude that from my reading, review, research, interviews and observations that the PBL method is successful in teaching and building life skills in high school social studies classrooms, and is able to better prepare students for life after secondary education. Thanks to this instructional method students are able to acquire skills that will help them achieve success in college, the work-force and in life.

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