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Montgomery County Public Schools is revising the high school biology curriculum by utilizing a problem-based learning (PBL) approach. A group of 16 high schools voluntarily piloted one unit of the revised biology curriculum in 2014–2015. Based on classroom observations of teachers in pilot schools, there was a high level of implementation of PBL practices and a moderate level of implementation of the lesson plans. Based on surveys of students in both pilot and nonpilot schools, there was some evidence that student engagement with the biology unit was higher at the pilot schools; results were strongest for cognitive engagement, which is commitment to learning and understanding the content. Based on unit assessments from students in both pilot and nonpilot schools, there was some evidence that student achievement was higher at the pilot schools than at nonpilot schools for all students and most student subgroups.
Report_Bio Pilot_FINAL 2.0.pdf (744KB PDF)