As the number of schools, districts and states committed to student-centered, personalized learning practices grows, so does the evidence base. On this page, you’ll find an evolving library of data points that describe the impacts of student-centered and competency-based approaches on student learning and other key outcomes.
The findings are searchable and are sourced from research studies, external evaluations and evidence collected directly by schools, districts and states using student-centered and personalized learning approaches.
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Arizona Maricopa High School principal credits student-centered practices like real-word application and post-secondary planning for higher graduation rates of students with a CTE concentration: 91% compared to 71.9% for students in traditional courses and the 81% state average.
In a study of differences in teacher practice and technology use in student-centered schools, high-performing schools more frequently included students’ career goals and interests in personalized learning plans, increasing student motivation. The difference was statistically significant.
In a large national survey, 80% of principals implementing schoolwide project-based learning feel it helps students meet academic standards. 90% report students can extend their learning from projects to other disciplines.
A study of innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic documents the development of inquiry-based projects in a Colorado district. Teachers participated at different levels based on comfort level and past experience but all saw increases in engagement and self-direction.
Feedback from over 11,000 teachers nationwide indicates 77% feel project-based learning would benefit their students. This high valuation is consistent across grade-levels taught as well as subjects, from science to history.
At Lindsay Unified School District, students scored higher on the Diagnostic Reading Assessments® (DRA), Scholastic Reading Inventory® (SRI), and California’s Smarter Balanced Assessment system (SBAC) after teachers received PD on project-based learning.
Looking at 20 studies on project-based learning, researchers found a positive effect on student learning in Social Studies and Science, and to a smaller degree, math and literacy.
In a study investigating the student-level impacts of high quality project-based activities 62% of students performed proficient or higher on a performance assessment requiring them to transfer knowledge to a new situation.
Project-Based Learning led to a 63% gain in social studies for students in low-income schools as compared with students in higher-income schools. That translates to five to six months of increased learning for the year.
On average, third graders in project-based classrooms performed eight percentage points better on the science assessment as compared with students in the control group classrooms.