Measuring Life Skills, Hope and Academic Growth at Project Based Learning Schools

Improving Schools: Vol 23, Issue 3, 2020


Eleven project-based learning charter schools participated in this correlational study. Eight have participated for 2 years and three for 1 year. The schools are affiliated with EdVisions, a non-profit organization that helps create individualized, project-based learning schools. There were five variables in this correlational study: the hope survey, self-direction rubric, collaboration rubric, math RIT scores, and reading Rasch UnIT (RIT) scores. This study compared two variables at a time in attempts to determine relationship strengths. For example, hope and math, hope and reading, hope and self-direction, hope and collaboration, and so on. Growth occurred in all five variables over a 2-year period for eight schools, as well as a 1-year period for three schools. Although the hope and reading correlation, with an N of 340, was not significant with a correlation of .07, the researchers found that all other combinations of variables were significant with a p value <.01! It is evident that hope and life skills, such as self-direction and collaboration, positively impact academic achievement with math and reading test scores.