Learn Better by Doing Research Project
Doing: A National Education Imperative
The Learn Better by Doing Study is a sampling of the extent to which U.S. public school elementary and secondary education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students were doing standards based, hands-on activities in their classrooms. Separate elementary, middle, and high school survey instruments were created by using Standards for Technological Literacy, Next Generation Science Standards, and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The instrument asked teachers if they assigned their students specific hands-on activities in their classrooms.
From 2014 to 2017 more than 5,900 K-12 STEM teachers participated in the study. The study found thatThe Learn Better by Doing Final Report identifies other findings that illustrate how
The Learn Better by Doing Study was conducted by, , and
It is evident that students learn better by doing and that technology and engineering education programs prepare students for college, careers, and life. However, education leaders may not realize many of these benefits.
The Learn Better by Doing (LBbD) study identifies information you can use to promote your technology and engineering programs. Promotion is needed to gain knowledge, respect and additional support for your programs.
Promotion should occur at different levels of decision making and support. This page provides strategies to communicate the benefits of technology and engineering programs to decision makers at different levels and arenas of education and government. In addition to the information herein, your local and state technology and engineering education association should have additional promotional strategies.
Below is a list of links to promotional materials you may use to discuss how students benefit from taking technology and engineering education courses. This information may be used at the local, state, and national levels of decision making and support.
- : This document provides specific talking points gleaned from the Learn Better by Doing Study Final Report.
- : This presentation contains talking points, and supporting evidence, ready to use. View/download the or an easy to print and share .
- : The LBbD Study Final Report identifies very specific findings. This “Benefits of Technology and Engineering Education” document provides a list of articles giving precise examples (evidence) of how teachers and students actually do what is identified in the Final Report. Once a “decision maker” is interested in hearing specifically how, for example, technology and engineering students learn by doing STEM activities, this resource will provide those (and many more) specifics.
The researchers used numerous references during the course of this study. Those references are listed below. Where possible, Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) are provided.
These resources substantiate the fact that students learn better by doing standards-based, hands-on activities based on real-world problems. These resources may be used to identify, support, and promote technology and engineering education programs.
Achieve, Inc. (2013a). Next generation science standards(NGSS): For states by states (Vol. 1). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Achieve, Inc. (2013b). Next generation science standards(NGSS): For states by states (Vol. 2). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Archbald, D. A., & Newmann, F. M. (1988). Beyond standardized testing: Assessing authentic academic achievement in the secondary school. National Association of Secondary School Principals: Reston, VA.
Change the Equation. (2016). Vital signs: Reports on the condition of STEM learning in the U.S. Retrieved from:
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS). (2010). Common core state standards initiative: Standards for mathematical practice. Washington, DC: Council of State School Officers (CCSSO) and National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). Author.
Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. Toronto: Collier-MacMillan Canada Ltd.
Eccles, J. S. (1994). Understanding women’s educational and occupational choices: Applying the Eccles, et al. of achievement related choices. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18(4), 585-609.
Honey, M., Pearson, G., & Schweingruber, H. (Eds.). (2014). STEM integration in K-12 education: Status, prospects, and an agenda for research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
ITEA/ITEEA. (2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy: Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA, Author.
Katehi, L., Pearson, G., & Feder, M. (2009). Engineering in K-12 education: Understanding the status and improving the prospects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
Moye, J. J. (2011). The promise of technology and engineering education. In Ritz, J. M. & Bevins, S. P. (Eds.) The Connection to the 21st Century Workforce: Technology and Engineering Education, 22-33, Reston, VA: ITEEA.
Moye, J. J., Dugger, W. E. Jr., Starkweather, K. N. (2014a). Learning by doing research introduction. The Technology and Engineering Teacher, 74(1), 24-27.
Moye, J. J., Dugger, W. E. Jr., Starkweather, K. N. (2014b). Is learning by doing important? A study of doing-based learning. The Technology and Engineering Teacher, 74(3), 22-28.
Moye, J. J., Dugger, W. E., Jr., Starkweather, K. N. (2015). Learning by doing study: Analysis of second-year results. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 75(1), 18-25.
Moye, J. J., Dugger, W. E., Jr., Starkweather, K. N.(2016). Learn better by doing study: Third-year results. Technology and Engineering Teacher,76(1), 16-23. https://www.iteea.org/Activities/2142/Learning_Better_by_Doing_Project/103220.aspx
Moye, J. J., Dugger, W. E., Jr., Starkweather, K. N. (2017). Learn better by doing study: Fourth-year results. Technology and Engineering Teacher, 77(3), 32-32.
Moye, J. J., Dugger, W. E., Jr., Starkweather, K. N. (2018). Learn better by doing. Reston, VA: ITEEA.
National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). (2013). Technology and engineering literacy framework for the 2014 national assessment of educational progress. Washington, DC: NAGB.
National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). (n.d.a). Mathematics achievement of forthand eighth-graders. Retrieved from
National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). (n.d.b.). Science achievement of fourth and eighth graders in 2011. Retrieved from
National Research Council (NRC). (2013). Monitoring progress toward successful K-12 education: A nation advancing? Committee on the Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education. Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine (NRC-IM). (2004). Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn. Committee on Increasing High School Students’ Engagement and Motivation to Learn. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
National Academy of Engineering. Committee on Public Understanding of Engineering Messages (NAE). (2008). Changing the conversation: Messages for improving public understanding of engineering. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP). (2008). The final report of the national mathematics advisory panel. U. S. Department of Education: Washington, DC.
National Research Council (NRC). (2014). Developing assessments for the next generation science standards. Committee on developing assessments of science proficiency in K-12. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA). (n.d.). United States – Country note – Results from PISA 2012 problem solving. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Paris.
Sedlmeier, P. (2000). How to improve statistical thinking: Choose the task representation wisely and learn by doing. Instructional Science, 28: Kluwer Publishers: Netherlands, 227-262.
U.S. News Education Best High Schools (U.S. News). (n.d.). U.S. news education best high schools retrieved from:.
Yager, R. E. (2011). Commentary: How to get more science teachers who can “Do” science: And use their teaching as an example. Science Educator, 20(2), 62.
Learn Better by Doing Study: Definitions.