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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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Video Credits

Produced, Written, and Directed by

  • Ken Ellis

Coordinating Producer:

  • Amy Erin Borovoy


  • Karen Sutherland

Associate Producers:

  • Stacey Bloom
  • Leigh Iacobucci
  • Miwa Yokoyama

Production Assistant:

  • Doug Keely

Camera Crew:

  • Rob Weller
  • Michael Curtiss


  • 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

Ashley S.'s picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Winthrop University, Junior
Rock Hill, SC

I liked how the video showed the benefits to Project Based Learning. It helps to make the material that the students are learning more relevant to them, which in turn will make the students better able to recall the information later on when they need it. Learning through projects also makes the material more fun for the students to learn. Instead of sitting in a classroom memorizing facts and completing worksheet problems, they are applying their knowledge to create something.

Erin F.'s picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Project based learning is how I picture an ideal classroom. A lot of activity and hands-on work for the students to be involved in. It allows for multiple-knowledge based outlets, such as students creating websites and producing plays. One student noted that they feel they are learning more by being more included in the entire process. I really look forward to using it in my future classroom.

McHoney's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

There are many advantages to Project Based Learning. Activities like such will leave an impact on many students lives. It will also help them to use what they have learned in a resourceful way. They will not leave feeling they have learned this for no reason.

Kayla S. Knopf's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I think that Project Based Learning is a great idea. Students commented on how PBL allows them to learn from their experiences and through trial and error. I think that PBL can be more effective the traditional instrcution is done so effectively, especially for special needs students. PBL can be more motivational that traditional learning as well because students are not just sitting in a chair listening to a lecture. Through this method of instruction, students can understand, apply, and retain information better and build skills, like critical thinking and communication.

Tabatha's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

It is interesting to see how students, even at a young age, are able to see learning in a whole new light. These students appear to be able to learn better and retain the information better. If all teachers would use this method of teaching maybe all students would be able to succeed.

Sarah Burnette's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I liked this video. As an education student, it raised the controversial idea of throwing out "curriculum" and learning as you need the knowledge. This difference removes constraints from the teacher and allows for authentic, real learning that is allowed to take as long as it takes within the context of the project.

Brittany's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

This was awesome! I love the idea that new ways of learning are being introduced. We DO need to revise the way we do things in our schools into a more hands-on learning environment. Kudos to this idea, and the educators involved!

Rukhsana Anjum's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Ptoject Based Learning is quite a wonderful idea,I thnk that we all teacher community must find and apply new ways of teaching/ learning.Being a language teacher, I feel very excited that how I will make my students learn to work on project inducting interactive learning,group work and group dynamics.In Pakistani Government-run institutions,PBL is quite a new idea; it is not yet integrated in curriculum and teachers are not trained as well.Intel Teach took the first step and trained few of the teachers, of whichI am the one and I really enjoyed working on project and I resolve to make my students learn this new technique.

Rukhsana Anjum's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

PBL is a winderful idea, contexualized learning, brainstorming and problem solving imparts the learners sense of social usefulness and responsibility.They feel that they have smething to do with education.I, being an educator feel that the students are fed up with traditional talk and chalk method of teaching and one-man-show type of teaching.The only thing they want is the change and the acknowledgement of their significant roles as learners and as social entity.

Dennis Walters's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Finally, folks are seeing what we have been doing for years and jumping onboard. Students have always learned by hands-on in the Voc Ed / CTE / I.A. fields before. We did incorporate the academics but nobody acknowledged it, or believed us. We'll take it now and appreciate any support in the future. Our students need it. We as a nation have let our kids down for the past 20+ years not incorporating the "shop" classes and we have changed of late. As early as the mid 90's we were using CNC applications. Just no justification for the money spent. Now we'll take it.

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