Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Project-based Learning in a Conservative Educational System. Greek Students’ Views

  • Konstantina Koutrouba Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
  • Lydia-Eleni Alexaki

Abstract

The present questionnaire-based study examines 170 Greek upper secondary public and private education students’ perceptions about the factors that facilitate or undermine project-based learning within the framework of the highly conservative Greek educational system, about the cognitive, affective and social skills they developed during the carrying-out of project procedures, and about the levels of satisfaction they experienced during their cooperation with their supervising teachers. According to the results, project-based learning is more effectively implemented in private schools due to infrastructure provided, due to effective coordination of well-defined and pre-planned activities, and due to higher levels of teachers’ professional commitment and students’ learning objectives and expectations. The research also shows that project-based learning, even when embedded in and restricted by traditional educational environments, is considered to produce higher academic attainments for low-achievers, and to facilitate the development of high-ranked cognitive and social skills through students’ involvement in real-life situations, and active participation in problem-solving and decision-making procedures. It also indicates that for the majority of the participants the role of the supervising teacher is crucial since s/he defines the rules of communication, the techniques and the stages of the project carrying-out, and the assessment procedures. It finally shows that Greek students, despite apparent satisfaction experienced due to their participation in project procedures, remain skeptical as regards traditional teachers’ ability to assess reliably group performance, to provide effectively individualized assistance to low-performing group members, and to encourage high-achievers who have never before worked in unfamiliar learning situations.
Published
Dec 1, 2016
How to Cite
KOUTROUBA, Konstantina; ALEXAKI, Lydia-Eleni . Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Project-based Learning in a Conservative Educational System. Greek Students’ Views. European Journal of Social Sciences Education and Research, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 1, p. 37-47, dec. 2016. ISSN 2312-8429. Available at: <http://journals.euser.org/index.php/ejser/article/view/1330>. Date accessed: 18 july 2018. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.26417/ejser.v7i1.p37-47.