Author Biographies

Dr. Corrie Tuttle has been a middle and high school English teacher for 17 years. She earned her EdD in 2017 from Kennesaw State University in Secondary English Education. Currently, she teaches 11th grade English in a large, diverse Metro Atlanta, GA school district.

Dr. Megan Adams is an Associate Professor of Reading Education. She is interested in marginalized students, teachers, and communities and providing equitable literacy opportunities for all children. Dr. Adams is in the Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education at Kennesaw State University.


A teacher researcher and faculty member at a local university conducted a year-long study of the impacts of a new Project Based Learning (PBL) based 9th grade academy. The academy was a new option for 9th graders entering school in a marginalized, Title I school in a large, urban county. The case study was conducted using formal research methods, but the article is written with a focus on the needs of practitioners. The voices of students are highlighted, but there is also ample data illustrating the literacy gains measured in the students participating in the study. This approach allows the case study to highlight the importance of the PBL model for literacy gains for students who were performing below grade level upon entering the academy. The findings indicate that even without a school-wide or grade level PBL model, PBL is seen by students as a motivating factor to do well in each subject area. Students view PBL as making school “matter”, and participants indicated feeling connected to teachers and their school in part because of that relevance. There are implications for teachers and school leaders included.

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