Project-based learning through the Internet using team teaching: an example for gifted education in elementary school

Feng Chia-yen and Chen Ming-puu
National Taiwan Normal University
Taipei, Taiwan
Chen Ching-shueh and Chiang Pei-ling
Affiliated Experimental Elementary School of Taipei Municipal University of Education
Taipei, Taiwan

The purpose of this study was to understand the relationship between project-based learning with multimedia (PBL+WW) and the integrated curriculum and information computer literacy performance of gifted students in an elementary school.

In the study, three gifted education teachers collaborated with 18 fifth and sixth grade gifted students to implement PBL over six months. The topic was 'Taipei Guest House, a luxurious mansion', which had just been opened near the school. Students were encouraged to learn basic subject knowledge and they used the Internet as a research tool to gather, share and consult to facilitate a synthesis of knowledge.

The researchers applied a team teaching model to promote an integrated curriculum in which teachers of the various disciplines involved offered knowledge. The students were led to carry out relevant research on the project topic (e.g. the origins of the historic spot, repairs to it and how they had been carried out). The teachers planned the goals of the project topic and the appropriate research directions in order to guide students to use effective methods to collect various kinds of materials. The ICT teacher helped students to gather appropriate information from the Internet, and then designed a website for the project.

After the project had been completed, the teachers investigated students' progress and the difficulties they encountered. They collected quantitative and qualitative information via observations, interviews, research diaries, questionnaires and from students' discussion. The results indicated that through the team teaching approach adopted to guide students in implementing PBL, students studied the relevant curriculum knowledge and explored Internet resources, searched for relevant information, and shared and discussed to promote integrated knowledge. The four main conclusions of the study were:

  1. Student ability in analysing and processing information improved as a result of using project-based learning through the Internet.
  2. The project-based learning model encouraged student collaboration and cooperative learning.
  3. Students' communication and presentation skills were improved by using multimedia and web technology.
  4. Students learned a great deal and developed a positive attitude to learning.