The contribution of Project-based-learning to high-achievers’ acquisition of technological knowledge and skills

  • David MioduserEmail author
  • Nadav Betzer
Open Access
Original Paper


The main goals of this study were to look after the technological knowledge construction process by high-school high-achievers, and their ability to design and implement solutions for technological problems. More specifically, we examine the contribution of Project-based-learning (PBL), as pedagogical means for supporting the students’ knowledge acquisition and problem-solving process. The findings show a significant increase in formal knowledge as measured by standardized matriculation exams; an expansion in the scope of technological knowledge acquired and implemented, and in the scope of knowledge resources utilized for the projects; a high level of overall performance as regards to the set of design skills studied; a positive change in attitude towards technology and technological studies; the emergence of consistent design styles by individuals and groups along their work in the projects.


Project-based learning Design learning Design styles Technological knowledge High-achievers 


  1. Albanese, M. A., & Mitchell, S. (1993). Problem-based learning: A review of literature on its outcomes and implementation issues. Academic Medicine, 68(1), 52–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blumenfeld, P., Soloway, E., Marx, R., Krajcik, J., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational Psychologist, 26, 369–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Del Valle, C. (1993). The Workplace. Business Week, April 26, pp. 77–78Google Scholar
  4. Edgerton, R. (1993). Apply the curriculum standards with project questions. The Mathematics Teacher, 86(8), 686–689Google Scholar
  5. Evensen, D., & Cindy, H. (Eds.) (2000). Problem-based learning: A research perspective on learning interactions. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
  6. Ginestie, J. (2002). The industrial project method in French industry and in French schools. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 12(2), 99–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hill, A., & Howard, A. (1998). Practice meets theory in technology education: A case of authentic learning in the high school setting. Journal of Technology Education, 9(2), 29–45Google Scholar
  8. International Technology Education Association (2000). Standards for technological literacy: Content for the study of technology. Virginia: RestonGoogle Scholar
  9. Kimbell, R. (1997). Assessing technology. International trends in curriculum and assessment. Buckingham: Open University Press, pp. 227–241Google Scholar
  10. Litchfield, B. (1995). Helping your students plan computer projects. The Computing Teacher, April, 37–43Google Scholar
  11. Lewis, T. (1996). Comparing technology education in the US and UK. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 6(3), 221–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Middleton, H. (2005). Creative thinking, values and design and technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 15(2), 61–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mioduser, D. (1998). Framework for the study of the cognitive nature and architecture of technological problem solving. Journal of Technology Education and Design, 8(2), 167–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mioduser, D., & Kipperman, D. (2002). Evaluation/modification cycles in junior high students’ technological problem solving. Journal of Technology Education and Design, 12, 123–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. PATT – Pupils’ Attitude Towards Technology (1987). In: R. C. Coenen-van den Bergh (Ed.), Report PATT-conference, cip-Gegevens Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den HaagGoogle Scholar
  16. Perrenet, J. C., Bouhuijs, P. A. J., & Smits, J. G. M. M. (2000). The suitability of problem-based learning for engineering education: Theory and practice. Teaching in Higher Education, 5(3), 345–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Resnik, M., & Ocko, S. (1990). Constructionist learning. LEGO/LOGO: Learning through and about design. Boston: MIT Media LaboratoryGoogle Scholar
  18. Savery, J. R., & Duffy, T. M. (1995). Problem based learning: An industrial model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology, September–October, 31–37Google Scholar
  19. Technology for all Americans Project (TAAP) (1996). Reston, VA: ITEAGoogle Scholar
  20. Verner, I., & Betzer, N. (2001). Machine control – a design and technology discipline in Israel’s senior high schools. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 11(3), 263–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Vernon, D. T., & Blake, R. L. (1993). Does problem-based learning work? A meta-analysis of evaluation research. Academic Medicine, 68(7), 550–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. What Work Requires of Schools, A SCANS Report for America 2000 (1991). Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills – SCANS, Department of labor, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  23. Williams, J. (2002). Design: The only methodology of technology? Journal of Technology Education, 11(2), 48–60Google Scholar
  24. Williams, A., & Williams, J. (1997). Problem-based learning: An appropriate methodology for technology education. Research in Science & Technological Education, 15(1), 91–103Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of educationTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Science and Technology AdministrationMinistry of EducationTel AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations