Project Construct

“Project Construct is a journey, for the children and the professionals who nurture them. Just as the children are always finding new horizons to explore, so do those who construct the environments in which their children learn.”

S. Wisdom, Early Childhood Center, Hannibal Public Schools, 2013

Kids painting


To determine the impact of the Project Construct approach on student achievement, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) commissioned an independent research study by an outside evaluator, Research and Training Associates, Inc. This study examined the effects of different teaching strategies on kindergarten students’ learning in all developmental domains. The results of this study, Evaluating the Effects of Pedagogy Informed by Constructivism: A Comparison of Student Achievement across Constructivist and Traditional Classrooms (Pfannenstiel and Schattgen, 1997), were presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in 1997.  The results showed that students whose teachers engaged in practices that are consistent with constructivism attained higher levels of achievement than students whose teachers employed strategies rooted in outdated beliefs about learning. Moreover, students in more traditional classrooms did not outperform students in constructivist classrooms on any measure.

Another research study was conducted in 2008 to determine the impact of the Project Construct approach on student achievement.  This study examined the effectiveness of Project Construct curriculum on school achievement using the 2007-2008 School Entry Profile: Preschool Assessment Project Edition (SEP). The results of the (SEP) data analysis demonstrated that children taught with Project Construct curriculum left preschool with higher achievement compared with children taught with “other curricula.”

Researchers concluded that students in constructivist classrooms are much more educationally advantaged than their peers in traditional classrooms. These findings provide quantitative evidence of the effectiveness of Project Construct at the preschool and kindergarten level and offer potent support for constructivist education at all age/grade levels.

Click here to view the Executive summaries (PDF).