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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning

In this hands-on approach to teaching, students create schoolwork that demonstrates core subject knowledge. Read a short introductory article or watch an in-depth video.
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Credits

Video Credits

Produced, Written, and Directed by

  • Ken Ellis

Coordinating Producer:

  • Amy Erin Borovoy

Editor:

  • Karen Sutherland

Associate Producers:

  • Stacey Bloom
  • Leigh Iacobucci
  • Miwa Yokoyama

Production Assistant:

  • Doug Keely

Camera Crew:

  • Rob Weller
  • Michael Curtiss

Narrator:

  • Kris Welch

Original Music:

  • Ed Bogas
  • © 2009
  • The George Lucas Educational Foundation
  • All rights reserved.

Comments (41)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Glenna Gaudy's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

As a 28 year veteran of Project Based Learning via CTE, I say it is about time the "academic" courses jumped on board. This coming school year, I am leaving a comprehensive public high school to open a Career and Technical Academy, and starting the Fashion Design Program. CTE teachers have always used Math, English, Science and Social Studies in their courses--- it is a natural. I think CTE is finally getting the respect it so deserves, and rightly so. Throughout my career, I have seen the full spectrum of what society thought was important in regards to Voc Ed, Occ. Ed or now as it is known CTE. In college I was encouraged to get a teaching minor to make me more marketable. I refused. I may not have been too practical at that point, but 28 years later, I would not change a thing.I know we make a difference.

Glenna Gaudy
Fashion Design Program Leader
Southwest Career and Technical Academy (High School)
Las Vegas, NV
Clark County School District

joie's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

The video was very informative. I'm sure that this method will really work and enhance the learning of the students. I myself would always like to learn through experience, not just by memorizing theories.

Great Presentation.

derek's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

this video basically sums up how i feel about learning. if all learning could take place like this the education level in the united states is sure to rise without a doubt in my mind. Its the hands on learning that helps us retain information better because we are actually doing something to obtain the answer we need or want. It is always better to experience something for yourself rather than being taught about it and never truly understanding the whole concept of what is being taught. if this type of hands on learning can be applied to math i feel that my math skills will definantly be increased if it is put in a real life situation where i would need it or just motivate people enough to become interested in the concept of what is being taught. Thus letting them go into depth about what they are learning and themselves basically teach themselves while being guided along the way.

shellie ramlall's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi, I would like to use this video in a power point presentation explain PBL.

shellie ramlall's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

this is a great video

Amy Erin Borovoy (aka VideoAmy)'s picture
Amy Erin Borovoy (aka VideoAmy)
Senior Manager of Video Programming, Production, & Curation at Edutopia
Staff

[quote]Hi, I would like to use this video in a power point presentation explain PBL.[/quote]

Staff Comment:

Hi Shellie,

Most Edutopia videos are available for download from iTunes U, free of charge - you may use these files in presentations that are non-commercial and for educational purposes.

Click the "Download" link directly under the video player for the video you want, and you should be able to get to the right spot on iTunes.

Good luck!

Amy

Karen R's picture

PBL makes learning relevant. It engages visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. It teaches students to plan, set goals, revise, adapt, and problem solve. It teaches social skills. It prepares kids for the realities of the real world. PBL would work especially well in CTE. I see the challenges being time/planning, and the collaboration required to create interdisciplinary lessons.

Karen R's picture

[quote=derek]It is always better to experience something for yourself rather than being taught about it and never truly understanding the whole concept of what is being taught. [/quote]
I agree! and DOING for yourself rather than watching too.

[quote=derek]if this type of hands on learning can be applied to math i feel that my math skills will definantly be increased if it is put in a real life situation where i would need it or just motivate people enough to become interested in the concept of what is being taught. [/quote]
I never understood why people were so afraid of "word problems" in math class. Isn't having a real world application the whole point of understanding math!?

The challenge for PBL is getting kids the concurrent support they need to complete a project that exceeds their skills.

Marita Wright's picture

Project based learning supports the transition between school and work, an idea that has been encouraged in my district for a number of years. When students actually have something to show, a portfolio, for what they have done, the experience becomes pretty powerful. Experience gives them depth, interest brings breadth, and collaboration causes amplification.

corine baker's picture

As a landscape architect turned science teacher I can oly say, that project based learning is the way engineers and achitects are taught in college, so I know it works. So,I have brought this to my classroom. The drawback is that same as always... slackers. You have to use a bit of collabrative learning along with the project learning and weave in a big dose of accountablity. And beware, most "projects" are available for plagarising on line, Watch out for u-tube project... I got fooled.

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