Date of Award

Fall 9-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Trey Moeller

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Abstract

The call for the reform of public education in the United States of America has come from stakeholders of all kinds. This study compares two seemingly opposing approaches to the reform of public education. The bureaucratic approach is represented by the mass adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The grassroots approach is represented by the International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Students (ISTE Standards-S). It was important to identify and analyze an instructional practice with enough potential rigor to meet the demands of both the CCSS and the ISTE Standards-S. The study analyzed the potential ability of Project-based learning (PBL) to meet the needs of both approaches. From the varied literature on PBL, six “Common Components” were identified and rewritten as standards using the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. Once the Standards of PBL were written, all three sets of standards were quantified using a combination of the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and Gallia’s Synonyms List. Following quantification of the standards, they were compared using a single factor ANOVA to determine if there was a difference between the cognitive processing levels of each set of standards. The cognitive processing levels of the Standards of PBL were found to be significantly higher than that of the CCSS. However, no significant difference was found between the Standards of PBL and the ISTE Standards-S. These findings support the claim that using the Standards of PBL in the classroom will meet the cognitive processing demands of the CCSS. The results of this study will allow teachers in Common Core states to utilize the instructional strategy of PBL as a means for meeting the cognitive processing needs of the CCSS.

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