Classroom management considerations: Implementing STEM project-based learning

James Morgan, Scott W Slough

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The issue of classroom management in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Project-Based Learning (PBL) classroom is really two distinct issues; the first issue is how to design a PBL activity to maximize learning and the positive behavior of the learner; the second issue lies in a variety of topics related to the management of a classroom with groups of students working together. There is a mistaken perspective that STEM PBL simply involves creating an open-ended question and letting the students do all of the work, but this could not be further from the truth. Our definition of a well-defined outcome and an ill-defined task for STEM PBL has profound implications for classroom management. Although it may sound oxymoronic, a well-designed, ill-defined task does more than promote student learning. It promotes student motivation and engagement and when paired with a well-defined outcome, eases teacher and student concerns related to classroom management. Students are still expected to be on-task; restrict conversations to planning, investigating, problem solving, and communicating results; work in groups and individually; and follow procedures and routines (Wong & Wong, 2004). This chapter first deals with the design of a STEM PBL, as a good design will solve a great deal of the classroom management concerns for both the teacher and the students. Secondly, it will deal with the issue of managing students working in groups because the implementation of projects in a class works better when both teachers and students are comfortable with the dynamics of a cooperative learning environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSTEM project-based learning
Subtitle of host publicationAn integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) approach
EditorsRobert M. Capraro, Mary Magaret Capraro, James R. Morgan
Place of PublicationRotterdam, The Netherlands
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9789462091436
ISBN (Print)9789462091412
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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