## Conclusion - Significance

This action research set out to find what effect project-based learning would have on student achievement. Teaching at a school that champions project-based learning, as High Tech High does, it was especially interesting to me what this style of learning would have on a subject that may not easily lend itself to project-based learning, math. Math is traditionally taught with the teacher lecturing on a specific topic. During the lecture students are expected to take notes on the definition of key terms, to copy down procedures of solving a specific problem and to keep up with the teacher. After the lecture, students practice the procedure that was presented with practice problems that either embed the skill in a word problem or plainly direct students to solve by using the procedure. This action research highlighted some significant conclusions about the ninth grade students whom I work with.

In phase one, the project-based students scored an average of 78% on an assessment, compared to an almost 85% average scored by the problem and lecture group. During phase two, the project-based students scored an average of 86.5%. The problem and lecture group scored 81%. It is significant to point out that neither group showed consistently superior assessment scores.

**Project-based students scored both lower and higher than problem and lecture students.**In phase one, the project-based students scored an average of 78% on an assessment, compared to an almost 85% average scored by the problem and lecture group. During phase two, the project-based students scored an average of 86.5%. The problem and lecture group scored 81%. It is significant to point out that neither group showed consistently superior assessment scores.

**When given a choice between doing a project or doing problems accompanied with lectures, a majority of students in my class chose the latter option.**

In phase one, 92% of the students and 78% of the students in phase two chose to work on problems and listen to lectures in math class. This glaring preference brings up questions. What is the best way to teach math? Can project-based learning and math coexist? Should students be exposed to other styles of learning math besides traditional lecture? These questions will not be answered with this study, nor does this study attempt to answer them. However, through questionnaires, 50% of the students who chose this form of learning expressed their affinity for this type of learning and thought it was a better fit for them. Over 11% of the students thought this was a better form of learning compared to project-based learning. Almost 20% of the students who chose this group said it seems easier than doing projects. Given the variety of reasons for choosing this traditional approach, there seems to be a preference. Over 19% of the students who chose this group said there was something about the project that they didn’t like. It’s interesting to note that from phase one to phase two, there was a drop in the number of students who chose the problems and lecture. Maybe the project topic had something to do with this change.**Procedural fluency alone is not as challenging as adaptive reasoning.**

Of the five strands of math proficiency, according to the book Adding it Up, two main strands were prevalent in phase one and two. In phase one, students in the problem and lecture group focused a lot on procedural fluency. In the second phase, students were asked to adapt their knowledge to various situations and justify why their thinking would fit that given situation. When asked to assess the level of perceived challenge in class, students self reported a 12% increase in the challenge level from phase one to phase two. This suggests that the type of activities students engaged in during phase two is more challenging than the problems in phase one.**A higher percentage of students have an affinity toward projects than students do towards problems and lecture.**

In phase two, students were asked to explain why they chose between the project-based and problem and lecture group. Eighty percent of students who chose the project, expressed how they really like to do hands on and interactive projects. There was an affinity toward the project and they thought this would fit their learning style the best. The problem and lecture group had only 50% of the students denote an affinity towards doing problems and listening to lecture.