Project based learning for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities with an emphasis on economics curricula

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a current educational trend that has been popularized in the past twenty years as being an effective alternative to traditional teaching methods. The core philosophy behind PBL is to give students' access to curriculum through self-directed, motivating projects that develop students' academic, problem solving, and inter-personal skills. Successful implementation of PBL requires a high degree of teacher training of PBL delivery with regard to curriculum content. PBL has shown to improve students' comprehension and retention of content compared to traditional teaching methods when teachers have received thorough training. Most PBL research has focused on students in the general education setting; however PBL instruction for students with mild/moderate learning disabilities (LD) has received little attention. The purpose of this literature review is to inform reader of the what PBL is, to provide a background of research that supports the use of PBL, to identify the traditionally special education functions that exist within the process of PBL, to convince the reader that PBL and economics curriculum are a natural fit, to justify the implementation of the modified economics PBL unit, and to address the criticisms of PBL. Additionally, this graduate project provides a series of PBL templates designed for use in the special education setting.