International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Effect of Project Based Learning Approach in Social Sciences Class on the Student Success and Memorability
Hatice Memişoğlu

Problem Statement:
One of the aims of Social Sciences is to raise efficient citizens to improve the democratic process. In a rapidly changing democratic society, we need critical and creative citizens capable of questioning the existing social values and producing new ones. An efficient democratic citizen must filter every incidence based on knowledge and reasoning. To realize the aims of the Social Sciences and to extend the class beyond being based on memorization, the implementation of the Project Based Learning Model, which encompasses many methods and strategies and enables the students to reach the necessary information on their own, use it efficiently, transfer the information to the related fields, conduct searches, use their skills of scientific process, present the information they have obtained upon appropriately bringing them together and express themselves, shall add a new dimension to the class.

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to define the effect of Project Based Learning Approach on the success (access) of students and memorization in teaching the unit called “Population in Our Country” in the Social Sciences class of 7th Grade students in Elementary School.

Methods: This experimental study (Pretest-Posttest Design with a Control Group) was practiced upon 73 students – including an experimental (37) and a control group (36)- in an Elementary School in Bolu province. In order to determine whether the experimental and control groups were equivalent in terms of number, sex and presence of the students, the number and sex of the students and the averages of their pretest scores, “pass and school report marks” of 6th Grade students and “school report marks of social sciences” of the second term of 6th Grade students, their standard deviations, and the results of t test were analyzed. The achievement test prepared in accordance with the unit was given to the experimental and control groups prior to and following the practice as a posttest and 21 days after the finalization of the practice to test memorability and it was implemented with open-ended questions separately designed for the opinions of the students.

Findings and Results: Significant differences were found for the experimental group between the knowledge, comprehension, practice, total access average and memorability marks of the experimental group who took project based education and the knowledge, comprehension, practice, total access average and memorability marks of the group who took traditional education in the unit called the “Population in Our Country” of Social Sciences Class.

Conclusions and Recommendations: When we examined the opinions of the students regarding the project-based learning process, the majority of the experimental group students on whom project-based learning was practiced said that the Social Sciences Class became more enjoyable, got far from being monotonous and teacher-centered education and instead became research based and that the method enabled them to be more active during the lesson. They also stated that they more easily learned about the lesson and their knowledge became more memorable in that they searched about the subject themselves, classified the information they found and chose among them and explained about them to the other students. New studies might be conducted regarding the efficiency of “Project Based Learning” in different lessons, classes and schools with the aim of enlightening the present studies.

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