How Project-Based Learning promotes 7th grade students' motivation and attitudes towards studying biology
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Keywords:biology, project-based learning, PBL, student attitudes, student motivation
Students' attitudes and motivations affect their learning process and their academic success. The purpose of the present study is to examine the influence of the use of Project-Based Learning (PBL) on Arab sector middle-school students' attitudes and motivation towards biology. The study was conducted using a mixed design, quantitative as well as qualitative. The quantitative part took the form of questionnaires and the qualitative part consisted of a semi-structured interview with students. In this quasi experimental study, the research population consisted of 178 7th grade students of the Arab sector in northern Israel. The study's findings indicate that an intervention program consisting mainly of combining the teaching of biology with PBL resulted in both increased motivation among students and more positive attitudes towards biology. Students reported greater pleasure, curiosity, interest and cooperation as a result of using PBL in learning about the cell in biology. Introduction of PBL into standard teaching can bring about improvements in both students' motivation and their attitudes. It may be argued that the intervention that was applied in this case contributed to the improvement. The results helps in the formulation of recommendations for applying the PBL in biology and perhaps in other subjects as well.
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