Shifting pedagogy, shifting practice: teachers’ perceptions of project-based learning in English language arts Journal Article uri icon



  • ; Purpose; This paper aims to explore teachers’ shifts in pedagogy and practice as they implemented a project-based learning (PBL) approach to teaching English Language Arts (ELA) for the first time.; ; ; Design/methodology/approach; The authors interviewed 10 ninth-grade ELA teachers in three schools after their first year enacting PBL. Initial codes were developed deductively from the interview questions and others emerged from the data. The authors also used memos to contextualize the interviews and triangulate findings.; ; ; Findings; Teachers described embracing new, expansive approaches to teaching ELA as they shifted from focusing on skills to big questions, and from literary analysis to “real-world” writing and assessment. These data illuminated three tensions around “traditional” versus PBL approaches to ELA: What counts as ELA? What counts as student success? And is PBL for everyone?; ; ; Originality/value; Few studies have explored teacher perceptions of PBL in secondary ELA classrooms. This paper uniquely illuminates some pathways for addressing the tension between “traditional” and PBL approaches. The authors call for deliberate, ongoing and gradualistic approaches to engaging in PBL routines that support educators to make meaningful shifts in instruction.;

publication date

  • October 31, 2022

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • February 1, 2023 3:08 AM

Full Author List

  • Trepper K; Boardman A; Garcia A

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1175-8708

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1175-8708

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 469

end page

  • 482


  • 21


  • 4