Project-Based Learning in Initial Teacher Education: The Practice of Three Higher Education Institutions in Portugal

  • Tiago Tempera PhD student of Teacher Education in Instituto de Educação, University of Lisbon, Potrugal
  • Luís Tinoca Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Keywords: active learning, initial teacher education, project-based learning, teaching strategies


Future teachers first come into contact with diversified teaching strategies, such as Project-Based Learning, in initial teacher education programmes.  Such strategies contrast with the type of methods that they experienced throughout their own schooling, which are essentially teacher centred. The present research aims to understand how Project-Based Learning is being integrated into the curriculum of primary school teachers’ initial teacher education programmes. The participants were three higher education institutions located in different regions of Portugal, all of which offer initial teacher education programmes for primary school teachers that include Project-Based Learning at some point. The data were collected through document analysis of the programmes’ curricula, as well as through semi-structured interviews with the programme coordinators in each institution. The results show that the institutions value Project-Based Learning and make an effort to include it in their programmes, whether in theoretical, didactical or practical terms. However, they encounter some difficulties in promoting more significant experiences that would enable the students to feel confident to use this strategy in their Supervised Teaching Practice internships.


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