Project-Based Learning as a catalyst for Students and Teacher Autonomy development: The experience in a State School in Nilo, Cundinamarca.

Keywords: autonomy, awareness, decision makers, missions, Project work, students´ attitude


This paper reports the findings of a graduation thesis which intended to identify the effects that Project-Based Learning implementation had on the development of autonomy of a group of tenth grade English language learners and their teacher. In this Action Research study, several instruments were used. An initial questionnaire to confirm perceptions; a student´s attitude scale to assess how students worked, both individually and in small groups; small group conferencing, which enabled students to speak about their projects; a teacher-research journal with teacher´s reflections on the implementation and effectiveness of the action strategies; and students´ journals containing reflections on the different stages of the process. The data gathered showed that PBL work led to both learners and their teacher having more positive attitudes and behaviors towards their own academic activities and teaching practice, respectively. This methodology encouraged learners to become decision makers, to gain responsibility and confidence, and to raise awareness of their role in the classroom, while also promoting the development of several features of the teacher´s teaching style. Thus, knowledge in the classroom was built cooperatively.

Author Biographies

Jose Fabian Agudelo, IED Oreste Sindici, Colombia

M.A. in English didactics from Universidad del Tolima (Ibagué). Specialist in English Language teacher from Universidad de Ibague. B.A. in Modern Languages from Universidad de Cundinamarca (Girardot).  English teacher with 14 years of experience working with children, teenagers and adults mainly in state schools.  Currently a Full-time teacher and coordinator at state school Oreste Sindici in Nilo Ccundinamarca since 2010 to the present

Adriana María Morales Vasco, Universidad del Tolima, Colombia

Magister in English Didactics from Universidad de Caldas (Manizales), 1998. B.A. in Modern Languages from Universidad del Quindío (Armenia), 1994.  English Lecturer in the Modern Languages Program at Universidad del Quindío, 2005-2009. English teacher at different state and private schools working with children and teenagers, 1994-2004. Researcher in the fields of EFL Methodology, ELT, Pedagogy and Teacher Development. Speaker at numerous national and international academic events. Author and co-author of several articles published in indexed national journals. Full-time professor in the B.A. in English and the Master Program in English Didactics at Universidad del Tolima since 2009 to the present.


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How to Cite
Agudelo, J. F., & Morales Vasco, A. M. (2019). Project-Based Learning as a catalyst for Students and Teacher Autonomy development: The experience in a State School in Nilo, Cundinamarca. GIST – Education and Learning Research Journal, (19), 31-48.