Meeting the needs of students with varied learning styles through project-based learning

This study sets out to explore how project-based learning contributes to meeting the needs of students with varied learning styles. Research for this study consisted of two parts, a teacher survey, gauging familiarity and practice in project-based learning, and lessons created comparing two teaching methods PBL and direct instruction. This study cited the work of Howard Gardner and the eight intelligence types identified in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. This work examined the outcome of assessments of students' understanding of curriculum, using the project-based learning method of instruction, in relation to direct instruction. Project-based learning includes six necessary elements with a required use of technology for investigation and learning. Pivotal to the success of project-based learning is the creation of problems that students can identify with to reinforce existing knowledge. The research referred to in this study supports the claim that students who learn using project-based techniques process knowledge in a deeper and more mindful manner, and develop a greater ability to apply their knowledge to authentic experiences. This study also shows evidence of project-based learning supporting students considered "at risk" or those with learning disabilities. Primary results of the success of this method of instruction amongst these groups come from the de-emphasis of standard methods of intelligence assessments. Key Words: Multiple Intelligences, Project-based learning, students at risk