Multiple Literacies in Project-Based Learning (PBL)

ML-PBL Logo

Multiple Literacies is a collaboration between Joseph Krajcik from Michigan State University; Annemarie Palincsar and Elliot Soloway from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Emily Miller from the University of Wisconsin.  They have designed, developed, and tested materials that will engage elementary students in learning challenging ideas at the upper-elementary level, and work is currently underway for materials for use with K-2 students. Using language literacy and mathematical tools, the Multiple Literacies Project engages students in project-based learning (PBL) to develop usable science knowledge. 

African-American teacher at front of classroom talking with students

The research and design team developed a scope and sequence for grades 3 through 5.  Initially, the team conducted teaching experiments in a small number of classrooms, then progressed to pilot and field test  studies of all materials and an efficacy study of the third-grade materials. These studies assess the student and teaching materials to ensure they work as intended and promote engagement and learning for all students. 

There have been exciting findings from this research that have been shared through Edutopia, part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. We are delighted to have been recognized as a high-quality project-based learning resource! To read the article, click this link.

To address diversity, the teaching units include the following criteria: 

  • An emphasis on 3-dimensional learning, 
  • Attention to the community and context, 
  • Opportunity for student discussion, and 
  • An emphasis on giving students opportunities to think and reflect 
Photo on left of hands doing experiment; two boys on right working at desk

Multiple Literacies prioritizes providing students with the opportunity to obtain science literacy. We recognize that STEM opportunities are often unavailable to students from diverse and underserved groups. This project aims to ensure that ALL students are supported in their science learning. 

 

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