In-service Science teachers professional development for designing unit for project based learning by design thinking process

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Tasneem Anwar


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This design-based research aimed at exploring a teacher professional development that introduced Project – Based Learning (PBL) using design thinking process to in-service science teachers in a face to face six-day long workshop at the Institute for Educational Development, Karachi, Pakistan. The need for this study arose from the persistent reliance of science teachers on traditional science teaching mainly use of “chalk and talk” or “reading and translating text” model. In contrast, various approaches to teaching science inquiry and the skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration have gained prominence across the globe due to their effectiveness. PBL by design thinking process, one such approach that is recommended for 21st century science learning was used for the professional development in this study. Nine science teachers participated in this study. The pre/post interviews, focus group discussions, daily reflections of participants and the facilitator, and the artifacts including participants designed PBL units served as the data sources. The key findings of this PBL by design thinking professional development included seeing 21st century skills in action, the challenge of converting idea into prototype, participant teachers’ intent for implementation in the classroom, and their need for further scaffolding. This study concludes by offering outcomes for practice that highlight the significance of contextualized teaching of science, use of different tools and organisers for facilitating learning of PBL by design thinking process and sustained support for implementation of PBL by design thinking process in school settings. The study also offers design principles for PBL by design thinking professional development along with implications for science teachers, teacher educators, school management and researchers with some recommendations for future practice and research.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library