The Role of Project-Based Work in Enhancing Students’ Autonomous Learning

Sarah Hebbouch


This study investigates the overall use of project-based work in enhancing Moroccan high school students’ autonomous learning and attenuating their being over-reliant on teachers. It was observed, in two Moroccan high schools, -where the study was carried out-, as is the case in many other English foreign language contexts, that students were generally unable to learn by themselves, and that teachers were the solemn imparters of knowledge and learners were merely passive receivers of that knowledge. The study involved a sample of 30 students from science stream belonging to two adjacent high schools, which are located in a big city in Morocco. In the absence of a standard framework on how to implement project-based work properly, effective ways on how project work can improve independent learning proved useful in this study. In order to collect data for the study, three major instruments were employed, involving students and teachers, namely observation, interviews, and survey questionnaires. The data analysis highlighted the importance of project-based strategy in boosting students’ autonomous learning, through analyzing interview excerpts of teachers’ and students’ experience with the concept The research findings revealed that teachers assigned projects for students but did not identify each student’s role within a group, which deepened students’ disorientation, and reinforced sheer dependence on the teachers. The interviews showed as well the difficulties teachers encountered when assigning projects. This study is but a roadmap to teachers who are willing to increase students’ autonomy and improve the quality of the teaching-learning situation. The study also identifies the role of the teacher and the stages that should be followed to a better achievement of results. 

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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