Date Awarded

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Megan Tschannen-Moran

Committee Member

Margaret Constantino

Committee Member

James H. Stronge


This action research study explored how instructional staff members at a rural high school in Central Virginia can improve their PBL instructional practices to promote students to acquire the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Based on the results of this action research study, the top three strengths of PBL were students learning from mistakes, students taking responsibility for their learning, and that projects come in all shapes and sizes. The study revealed that there is not a tight fit or alignment between PBL and the Four Cs of communication, creativity, and critical thinking, and collaboration; however instructional staff members still perceived PBL as promoting the Four Cs in various ways. The study revealed that instructional staff members envision their school as students learning from their mistakes in a non-punitive way, being responsible for their learning, and creating their own educational paths to success. The study revealed that instructional staff members would like professional development on grading PBL lessons, as well as infusing PBL into the curriculum.



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