Engagement in Learning Physics Through Project-Based Learning: A Case Study of Gifted Finnish Upper-Secondary-Level Students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research on the advantages and disadvantages of project-based learning (PBL) among gifted pupils studying physics is scarce. This mixed-methods study investigates engagement, experiences, and learning outcomes among gifted Finnish uppersecondary-level students learning physics through PBL. A six-lesson PBL module on basic Newtonian mechanics was designed and implemented for a group of gifted students (N = 38), whereas a traditional teacher-driven approach was used among a control group (N = 38) of gifted students. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire, interviews and a physics test. According to the results, PBL met the preconditions (challenge, skill, interest) for engaging the students in learning physics. It generated interest in learning among the vast majority, but not as many found it challenging. The findings also highlight the impact of autonomy when learning through PBL. No differences in overall learning outcomes were found between the groups.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of advanced academics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)501-532
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • project-based learning
  • gifted students
  • physics learning
  • engagement
  • upper-secondary school
  • FLOW

Cite this