Date of Award



© 2016 Jasmeen Philen

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Suzan Nelson

Third Advisor

Mark Hardeman


The traditional model of PK-12 education, with increased emphasis on preparing students for standardized assessments, challenges educators striving to keep students engaged in learning. Project-Based Learning (PBL), a growing teaching methodology, is designed to address the challenge of disengagement by making learning meaningful and more engaging. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to document teachers’ perceptions and understandings of Project Based Learning (PBL) in a K-12 international school in Asia in an effort to address the on-going debates about the effectiveness of its implementation. Conceptually, this case study was framed using significant aspects of the constructivist theory, while briefly referencing other pedagogical theories. In addition, data were collected, reviewed and analyzed from personal interviews, Unit Abstract survey responses, and PBL documents taken from 20 educator participants. The findings and themes of this case study revealed that K-12 educators at a large international school described their experience of implementing PBL as fluctuating in its success and challenges. However, participants clearly identified PBL as engaging for students and a good pedagogy. They also described the implementation of PBL as difficult to enact and a paradigm shift in education. This case study advances intellectual conversations that inform the debate regarding PBL through identifying effective approaches to and challenges of implementing Project-Based Learning. PBL is a compelling pedagogy with potential to lead to greater student achievement.


Ed.D. Dissertation