Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


School of Teacher Education

Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has undergone great transformative reform during the last two decades with revised education standards calling for increased rigor to promote conceptual understanding of ideas and transferable 21st Century practices. Student-centered inquiry-based pedagogies like problem- and project-based instruction (PBI and PjBI) have begun to take root in K-12 STEM classrooms as an answer to the reform call. However, there is some disagreement of the specific characteristics of each pedagogy. There is also limited information regarding prevalence of these pedagogies in practice, their contextual patterns, degree to which they benefit all children, and the benefits/challenges of each method of instruction in the classroom. Thus, the purpose of this project was to systematically review the empirical research (n = 35 articles) on problem- and project-based instruction in K-12 education from 2000 to 2017 to build an empirical case for why they should be used in STEM education and to fill in some of the informational gaps.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Lisa Duffin, Dr. Martha Day, Dr. Christopher Keller


Education | Mathematics | Physical Sciences and Mathematics