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Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean

Exploring Jamaican Primary School Teachers' and Students' Experiences of Project-based Learning in the National Standards Curriculum

Publication Date: 
December 2022

In an effort to prepare students for the global marketplace, the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) is geared towards equipping them with 21st century skills. Project-based learning, a global trend in education, is seen as the vehicle through which this objective can be realised. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the experiences of four teachers and four students with the use of project-based learning in the NSC in a Jamaican primary school.
These teachers and students were purposively selected to provide data on their perceptions of project-based learning; how project-based learning is implemented; and how students describe their project-based learning experiences. Data were collected over a 2-month period through in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews with the teachers; 1 focus group interview with the students; observation of teachers’ and students’ project-based learning sessions; and personal documents in the form of students’ journals. The findings revealed that project-based learning improved students’ approaches to projects. Students perceive it to be an effective approach and teachers perceive it to be more effective than other traditional methods. The findings also revealed that teachers encountered challenges in support, training, and resources. Teachers and students also encountered challenges with students’ collaboration skills. Based on the findings, it is recommended that teachers receive adequate training in the use of project-based learning and resources, and that students be taught collaboration skills.

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